Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (2)

Tonight was the actual award ceremony.

Simon Allford of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris gave a long and thoughtful analysis as to why Grimshaw was deserving of the Gold Medal: his interest in the changing use of buildings and belief that architects should have an interest in how their buildings could be adapted; in the process of construction, evident in his very first project, which was a service tower, full of bathrooms and now demolished, for a student hostel in Paddington; and in the use of new materials, including ETFE, which he used to construct the biodomes of the Eden Project. But, most of all, it is for the support he has given to the development of his practice, important in Australia, where he has designed Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, a great project, described by Antony Gormley as like dunes in the Sahara, and the United States, where the practice was responsible for the EMPAC Concert Hall in Albany, New York.

Peter Cook, who taught him at the AA, described him in an entirely different version of the film as like one of the boffins of the Second World War, interested in the detailed technology of engineering.

I benefitted from his moral support when he was PRA. It was clear from the applause that I was certainly not alone amongst all those who had worked with him.

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