Principal, Lead Designer

Rafael Viñoly’s 45 years of architectural practice in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have been consistently driven by the belief that the essential responsibility of architecture is to elevate the public realm. As in his much-publicized proposal for the World Trade Center site in New York, his greatest interest has been in maximizing the opportunity for civic investment generated by every construction project.

Through the highly efficient and detailed design process developed in his office, Mr. Viñoly has completed many critically acclaimed civic projects as well as private and institutional commissions. His first major New York project was the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which was completed in 1988. In 1989, he won an international competition to design the Tokyo International Forum, the largest and most important cultural complex in Japan. The design secured Mr. Viñoly’s reputation as an architect of great imagination and professional rigor with a proven capacity to create beloved civic and cultural spaces. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania marked a similar success in the United States and prompted other seminal commissions including Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Viñoly’s work is context-specific, not driven by architectural stylization. The Regeneration Medicine Building at University of California, San Francisco, for example, is a stepped structure curving along and down its site in the San Francisco hills while the Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo is a low, sweeping structure featuring a roof like the lolling Uruguayan landscape. His recently completed master plan for the historic Battersea Power Station in London, United Kingdom sets the disused station as the centerpiece in a sustainable, mixed-use complex with ample public space to revitalize its industrial neighborhood.


University of Buenos Aires School of Architecture and Urbanism, Master of Architecture, 1969

University of Buenos Aires, Diploma in Architecture, 1968

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Architects, Fellow

Japan Institute of Architects

The National Academy

The Royal Institute of British Architects, International Fellow

Sociedad Central de Arquitectos, Argentina

Registered Architect in: Argentina, Japan, New York (1980)

Honors and Awards

Design Honor, Salvadori Center, 2007

International Fellow, The Royal Institute of British Architects, 2006

National Design Award Finalist, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2004

Honorary Doctorate, University of Maryland, 1997

Medal of Honor, American Institute of Architects, New York City Chapter, 1995

National Academician, The National Academy, 1994

Speaking Engagements

Consulate General of Argentina in New York, New York, New York, USA, “Evolution and Continuity in a Half Century of Practice,” September 2016

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) International Conference, New York, New York, USA, “The Challenges and Benefits of Integrating Public Space into Tall Buildings,” October 2015

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) College of Architecture, Chicago, Illinois, USA, “432 Park Avenue,” November 2014

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) International Council, New York, New York, USA, “Eero Saarinen: Airport Design,” November 2014

New York University – Schack School of Real Estate, New York, New York, USA, “432 Park Avenue,” October 2014

Tradeline Facility Strategies Conference for Academic Medicine and Allied Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, “21st-century integrated facilities for integrated missions: Penn’s new Medical Education Center,” October 2014

The Skyscraper Museum, New York, New York, USA, “432 Park Avenue,” February 2014

European University of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia, “Selected Academic Works,” September 2013

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) London Conference, London, United Kingdom, “Breaking the Mold While Embracing Context in Historic Cities,” April 2013

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, “Elevating the Public Realm,” March 2013

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA “The Future of Campus Architecture & The Future of Stanford University’s Campus,” February 2013

New Cube Salon China, Shenzen, China, “Architecture: Art of Renewal,” November 2012

The Architectural League New York, New York, New York, USA, “New York University Abu Dhabi Campus,” September 2012

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China, “The Development of Public Participation in the Design of Cultural Infrastructure,” September 2012

Tongji University, Shanghai, China, “The Development of Public Participation in the Design of Cultural Infrastructure,” September 2012

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Shanghai Conference, Shanghai, China, “How High Can We Go and Why?” September 2012

Parrish Museum of Art, Southampton, New York, USA, “The Future of the Past,” June 2012