The internationally acclaimed Dutch architect Herman Hertzberger has been named as the recipient of one of the world's most prestigious architecture prizes, the Royal Gold Medal. Established in 1848 in the UK and given in recognition of a body of work, the Royal Gold Medal is given to a person or group of people whose influence on architecture has had a truly international effect. In between spaces Born in 1932 in Amsterdam Herman Hertzberger completed his studies at the Delft University of Technology, where he was a professor from 1970 to 1999. He opened his own firm of architects in 1960, the present-day Architectuurstudio HH in Amsterdam. Hertzberger can be considered, along Aldo van Eyck, as the influence behind the Dutch structuralist movement of the 1960s. One of his major influences on 20th century architecture was to challenge the early modernist belief that 'form follows function' - that the shape of the building was defined by its purpose. Hertzberger believes that the core function of a building does not provide the total solution to space usage: it is a framework that should enable its users to interpret and define how they inhabit it. His buildings offer flexible 'in between' spaces that encourage our deeper human needs of dwelling and social activity. Get light His celebrated Montessori School in Delft (1960-66) rethought the way that classrooms were laid out, with L-shaped rooms creating different zones. Images of children playing and learning on broad wooden steps as a creative space inspired many architects of schools across northern Europe. His exemplary Office Building Centraal Beheer in Apeldoorn (1968-72, top photo) was designed with the needs of the individual at its core and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in The Hague (1979-90) was one of the first buildings to develop the idea of the internal street or elongated atrium to encourage social interaction and get light into all the rooms.