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BSA Award of Honor

Eligibility

Individual must be a BSA member, current or former, and have made "outstanding contributions to architecture and to the profession" over an extended period of time.

2021 Recipients

Rodolfo Machado
Founding principal
Machado Silvetti

Jorge Silvetti
Founding principal
Machado Silvetti

Rodolfo Machado is a founding Principal of MACHADO SILVETTI. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he is a citizen of the United States, where he has resided since 1968. Rodolfo began his professional association with Jorge Silvetti in 1974, and together they incorporated their practice in 1985. Since then, Rodolfo has gone on to practice architecture throughout the country and around the world. Rodolfo has always had a ‘dual practice’—professional and academic. He is Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design, Emeritus at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he chaired the Department of Urban Planning and Design from 2004 to 2009. Rodolfo’s work has been extensively published and exhibited around the world. Notable publications include three monographs, the latest, The Work of Machado and Silvetti, was published in 2018.

Jorge Silvetti is a founding Principal of MACHADO SILVETTI. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he has resided in the United States since 1967. Jorge began his professional association with Rodolfo Machado in 1974, and together they incorporated their practice in 1985. Jorge is a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he chaired the Department of Architecture from 1995 to 2002. He serves regularly as juror for a number of architectural competitions and prizes and was a member of the Pritzker Architectural Prize jury from 1996-2004. In total, he has received ten Progressive Architecture awards—many in collaboration with Rodolfo Machado—and was the first person to receive awards in all three categories (architecture, urban design and research), and recently was honored as the individual recipient of the 2018 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Architectural Education.

As active participants in the architectural scene of the ’70s and ’80s, Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti were intensely engaged in the origins of the debate that changed the course of architectural thinking, and of its pedagogical and professional practice implications. At the emergence of postmodernism, being considered as “outsiders,” they escaped from the reductionist attitudes that either took historical forms for legitimizing architectural practice or renounced to accept that a tabula rasa as unthinkable. They confront the practice of architecture with realism and from a cultural perspective that engages the multiple social and technical practices that bear on the creative process of making architecture: they consider typologies as indifferent to function or to iconographic definition and defend the potential of architectural language and of architecture as a discipline.

Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti have coined the idea of unprecedented realism to describe their distinctive design strategies and techniques of assemblage, personal interpretation, the production of meaning and the creation of emerging typologies. Their work pays attention to the culture, site, market, material detailing, and architectural composition.