Ambassador José Pascual Marco of Spain formally bestowed David Chipperfield with the rank of Enocomienda of La Orden de Isabel la Católica, Spain’s highest honorary order, at a reception in London on 19 October. Following approval from Spain’s King Felipe VI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, David was recognised in December 2022 for his ‘loyalty and achievements’ to the benefit the Spanish nation and for ‘fostering relations of friendship and cooperation […] with the rest of the International Community’.
In his laudatory remarks, the Ambassador highlighted David Chipperfield’s particular commitment to the region of Galicia through the work of Fundación RIA. Established in 2017, the independent non-profit think tank and agency focuses on inter-disciplinary studies, pilot projects and strategic territorial planning, connecting global challenges of sustainability to the specific local context.
David Chipperfield expressed his deep appreciation for this honour from a country which has been of both professional and personal importance to him, taking it as an encouragement to continue expanding the role of architecture at the service of society and ‘operating in the gaps’ – both physical and administrative – to improve the region’s built and natural environment as a foundation to its quality of life.