Tall & Urban News

CTBUH Remembers Rafael Viñoly

©Tobias Everke
©Tobias Everke
06 March 2023

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is deeply sad to hear of the passing of architect Rafael Viñoly. His impactful design legacy in cities across the globe is a testament to his belief in the responsibility of architecture and its civic duty.  

With almost fifty years of practice, Viñoly died age 78 on 2 March 2023 in New York. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 1 June 1944, he graduated from the University of Buenos Aires with a Diploma in Architecture in 1968 and earned a Master of Architecture from the same university the following year. He founded his firm Rafael Viñoly Architects in 1983. He was well known for projects such as the Tokyo International Forum, Carrasco Airport in Montevideo, and tall buildings like 20 Fenchurch Street in London, commonly nicknamed the “Walkie Talkie” and the Samsung Jong-Ro Tower in Seoul.  Viñoly’s work is marked by a sustained structural originality that transcended the passing fads of architectural movements.

Viñoly was an ardent contributor for shaping the urban realm. He presented at the CTBUH annual international conferences in Shanghai (2012) and New York (2015) and was the keynote speaker for the conference in London (2013).  He participated in discussions like the roundtable, “Innovators: The Engineering and Design of Tall Buildings” (2014).  In a 2015 interview, CTBUH talked with him about his practice, philosophies of design, and 432 Park Avenue, a CTBUH Best Tall Building Americas 2016 Award of Excellence Winner.  Other skyscrapers that made their mark are NEMA Chicago (CTBUH Best Tall Buildings Americas 2021 Award of Excellence) and the 277 Fifth Avenue, New York City (CTBUH Best Tall Residential or Hotel Building 2019 Winner and CTBUH Best Tall Building 200-299 meters 2019 Award of Excellence).