Noted architect Rafael Viñoly dies at 78 in New York

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NEW YORK (AP) — Rafael Viñoly, an Uruguayan-born architect who designed distinctive and iconic buildings around the globe, has died. He was 78.

Viñoly, whose firm is based in New York City, died of an aneurysm on Thursday at a hospital in the city. Roman Viñoly said his father died unexpectedly.

“He leaves a rich legacy of distinctive and timeless designs that manifested in some of the world’s most recognizable and iconic structures, among them the Tokyo International Forum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Carrasco Airport in Montevideo, and 20 Fenchurch Street in London,” Roman Viñoly said in a statement.

The London building is nicknamed the "Walkie Talkie” because of its distinctive curved shape resembling a two-way radio handset.

Viñoly was born on June 1, 1944, in Montevideo, Uruguay. Early in his career, he founded Estudio de Arquitectura, which became one of the largest design studios in Latin America.

He settled in New York City in 1979 and founded Rafael Viñoly Architects four years later.

Viñoly became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1993 and is a member of the Japan Institute of Architects. He was named an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2006.

He is survived by his wife, Diana, his son, Roman, stepsons Nicolas and Lucas and a brother, Daniel.