We already knew that the prolific Swiss architecture duo Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron had won the coveted 2015 RIBA Jencks Award, but it is only today that the famous pair will finally be able to get their hands on their well-deserved prize.
The architects will be presented with their award tonight, during a ceremony at the RIBA iconic 1930s headquarters in London's Portland Place. A public lecture, given by Herzog and de Meuron, will follow, marking the end of the day's celebrations. It will be chaired by architectural theorist and writer Charles Jencks, whose generous donations to an endowment fund have made the award - which is managed by the RIBA - possible.
The annual honour is given to an individual - or practice - as recognition for their significant contribution in architecture, in practice as well as theory. This year, the award's recipient was decided by a judging panel comprising Jencks, RIBA President and Chairman of Hodder and Partners Stephen Hodder, Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones and AA director Brett Steele (and chaired by RIBA Director of Eduation David Gloster).
'We are delighted to be the winners of this year's RIBA Jencks Award,' say the architects, who stress they are especially happy about that particular prize, as it honours both theory and practice.
'Despite the many texts and books we have published, we still have doubts about the longevity of texts written by architects,' they continue. 'The title of a few books may be remembered over time - the relevance of their content, though, ages faster than expected... We therefore always did our best to not to separate theory from the built work. Buildings don't follow theory but yes: the best buildings always allow for theoretical interpretations of all kinds.'