Seventy years ago, the Berlin-born architect Antony Wolffe was awarded a medal for his civic designs for Edinburgh, Scotland. But sadly, the honor was taken away from him several weeks later, since giving an award to a German national was seen as far too politically risky during the Second World War. Wolffe, who has lived in Scotland since 1937, and became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1994, was presented with his long overdue award at a ceremony in Edinburgh yesterday. Upon finally receiving the City of Edinburgh's Medal for Civic Design, the nonagenarian architect told the BBC: "I am chuffed. I never thought this would happen."
While attending the Edinburgh College of Art, Wolffe's studies were interrupted when he was labeled an "enemy alien" and sent to two different internment camps. After graduation, he founded the practice of A. Curtiss Wolffe & Partner, which was responsible for designing many buildings in Scotland from the late 1940s through the 1980s.
The Edinburgh College of Art is currently holding an exhibition of Wolffe's student work. For his part, the architect seems delighted with the attention. "It is wonderful and extraordinary," he told the BBC. "I've lived longer than I ever thought I truly would, so to see this exhibition of my work and to finally receive this medal, it is quite exciting."
Image courtesy of the University of Edinburgh
· German-born architect receives medal denied him during WW2 [BBC News]
· All Awards posts [Curbed National]