Ricky Burdett has persuaded the bosses of the Venice Architecture Biennale to give his boss, Richard Rogers, a lifetime achievement Golden Lion.
Burdett, the director of the 2006 extravaganza, works for Rogers on Ken Livingstone's Architecture and Urbanism Unit.
The position of director allows the incumbent to nominate the winner of the lifetime achievement award.
Burdett was appointed to the biennale directorship in late 2005 and has since set about preparing a show for September that will focus on the development of cities.
'I'm passionate about cities,' Rogers said. 'They are the most complex of artefacts and many are in great need of revitalisation.
'I am, therefore, extremely delighted to learn that I will be receiving the Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement at this year's Venice Biennale for my work on cities.
'A lifetime is a long time - but in terms of the work I'd still like to do, I'm already beginning to think it's not long enough,' he added.
The Golden Lion will be awarded in Venice on 10 September, the first day of the biennale opening to the public, during a brief ceremony at the Giardini della Biennale.
All other Golden Lions of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition will be awarded during an official ceremony on 8 November at the Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale. by Ed Dorrell