Renowned Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly has passed away leaving a legacy of more than 600 works around the world. Viñoly, born in Montevideo in 1944 and educated in numerous cities including Buenos Aires, London, and New York among others, was an internationally renowned architect who was known for his effective functionality and intelligent solutions of local or technology problems. Some of his most notable works are the Guadalajara terminal in Mexico, the new international airport terminal de Carrasco in Montevideo, and the circular bridge over the Garzón lagoon in Uruguay.
However, some of his works were also surrounded by controversy. One of the latest is a 426-meter-tall, 85-story luxury residential building called 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan. He also designed the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas and the 20 Fenchurch Tower in London, which were labelled with nicknames like “death ray”, due to their concave glass designs acting as heat reflectors, melting cars parked nearby, and causing severe burns in pools.
Viñoly did not have a recognizable style, according to him, it was about achieving effective functionality and local solutions, as well as taking into account technology problems and costs. Many of his works reflected this sentiment. He won an international design competition for the Tokyo International Forum, which is considered one of the most important cultural centers of Japan. The first major project was the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, completed in 1988.
Viñoly’s death is a great loss to the architectural community. The municipal administration of Montevideo noted that due to the global scope of his work, “the world loses a great creator and weigher of architecture.” Viñoly left behind a significant impact on the world of architecture and will always be remembered among the greats in the field.