Pritzker Architecture Prize

Pritzker Architecture Prize

Medal of the Pritzker Architecture Prize
Awarded for A career of achievement in the art of architecture.
Sponsored by Hyatt Foundation
Reward(s) US $100,000
First awarded 1979
Last awarded 2016
Official website

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually "to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture."[1] Founded in 1979 by Jay A. Pritzker and his wife Cindy, the award is funded by the Pritzker family and sponsored by the Hyatt Foundation and is considered to be one of the world's premier architecture prizes;[2] it is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture.[3][4][5] The most recent winner, in 2016, is the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena.

The prize is said to be awarded "irrespective of nationality, race, creed, or ideology."[6] The recipients receive US$100,000, a citation certificate, and since 1987, a bronze medallion.[7] The designs on the medal are inspired by the work of architect Louis Sullivan, while the Latin inspired inscription on the reverse of the medallion—firmitas, utilitas, venustas (English: firmness, commodity and delight)—is from Ancient Roman architect Vitruvius.[8] Before 1987, a limited edition Henry Moore sculpture accompanied the monetary prize.[7]

The Executive Director of the prize, Martha Thorne,[9] solicits nominations from a range of people, including past Laureates, academics, critics and others "with expertise and interest in the field of architecture".[6] Any licensed architect can also make a personal application for the prize before 1 November every year. In 1988 Gordon Bunshaft nominated himself for the award and eventually won it.[10] The jury, each year consisting of five to nine "experts ... recognized professionals in their own fields of architecture, business, education, publishing, and culture", deliberate early the following year before announcing the winner in spring.[6] As of 2015, the prize Chair is the Lord Palumbo (and has been since 2005); earlier chairs were J. Carter Brown (1979–2002), and the Lord Rothschild (2003–04).[11]


In 2013, "Women in Design", a student organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Design started a petition on behalf of Denise Scott Brown to receive joint recognition with her partner, past prize winner Robert Venturi, furthering a debate about sexism in architecture. The petition, according to The New York Times has "reignited long-simmering tensions in the architectural world over whether women have been consistently denied the standing they deserve in a field whose most prestigious award was not given to a woman until 2004, when Zaha Hadid won."[12] Although the petition received international support of several past recipients, the jury said that it cannot revisit the work of past juries, in order to acknowledge the work of Denise Scott Brown and Lu Wenyu, both women and equal partners to their spouses Venturi and Wang Shu, who won in 1991 and 2012 respectively.[13] Scott Brown told CNN that "as a woman, she had felt excluded by the elite of architecture throughout her career," and that "the Pritzker Prize was based on the fallacy that great architecture was the work of a 'single lone male genius' at the expense of collaborative work."[14]


Inaugural winner Philip Johnson was cited "for 50 years of imagination and vitality embodied in a myriad of museums, theaters, libraries, houses, gardens and corporate structures".[15] The 2004 laureate Zaha Hadid was the first female prize winner.[16] Ryue Nishizawa became the youngest winner in 2010 at age 44.[17] The 32nd prize winners, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, were cited for "architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever".[18] The most recent winner, in 2016, is the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena[19][20]

No. Year Laureate Nationality Photo Example work (year completed)Ceremony location Ref.
1 1979 Johnson, PhilipPhilip Johnson United States The inaugural laureate Philip Johnson behind an architectural model Glass House (1949) Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC [21]
2 1980 Barragán, LuisLuis Barragán Mexico
Torres de Satélite (1957) Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC [5]
3 1981 Stirling, JamesJames Stirling United Kingdom Seeley Historical Library (1968) National Building Museum, Washington DC [22]
4 1982 Roche, KevinKevin Roche United States Knights of Columbus Building (1969) Art Institute of Chicago [3][A]
5 1983 Pei, Ieoh MingIeoh Ming Pei United States National Gallery of Art, East Building (1978) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City [23][B]
6 1984 Meier, RichardRichard Meier United States High Museum of Art (1983) National Gallery of Art, Washington DC [3]
7 1985 Hollein, HansHans Hollein Austria Abteiberg Museum (1982) The Huntington Library, San Marino, California [3]
8 1986 Böhm, GottfriedGottfried Böhm Germany (West Germany) Christi Auferstehung, Cologne (1968)Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London [3]
9 1987 Tange, KenzōKenzō Tange Japan St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo (1964) Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas [24]
10 1988 Bunshaft, GordonGordon Bunshaft (shared prize) United States Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (1963) Art Institute of Chicago [3][25]
10 1988 Niemeyer, OscarOscar Niemeyer (shared prize) Brazil Cathedral of Brasília (1958) Art Institute of Chicago [3][25]
11 1989 Gehry, FrankFrank Gehry Canada
United States
Walt Disney Concert Hall (1999–2003) Tōdai-ji, Nara, Japan [23][C]
12 1990 Rossi, AldoAldo Rossi Italy
Bonnefanten Museum (1990)Palazzo Grassi, Venice [26]
13 1991 Venturi, RobertRobert Venturi United States National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing (1991) Palace of Iturbide, Mexico City [27]
14 1992 Siza Vieira, ÁlvaroÁlvaro Siza Vieira Portugal Pavilion of Portugal in Expo'98 (1998) Harold Washington Library, Chicago [28]
15 1993 Maki, FumihikoFumihiko Maki Japan Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium (1991) Prague Castle [24]
16 1994 de Portzamparc, ChristianChristian de Portzamparc France - French Embassy, Berlin (2003) The Commons, Columbus, Indiana [29]
17 1995 Ando, TadaoTadao Ando Japan Church of the Light (1989) Palace of Versailles [30]
18 1996 Moneo, RafaelRafael Moneo Spain Kursaal Palace (1999) Getty Center, Los Angeles [23]
19 1997 Fehn, SverreSverre Fehn Norway Norwegian Glacier Museum (1991) Guggenheim Museum Bilbao [31]
20 1998 Piano, RenzoRenzo Piano Italy Kansai International Airport (1994) White House, Washington DC [32]
21 1999 Foster, NormanNorman Foster United Kingdom 1999 winner Norman Foster, giving a speech behind a lecturn Millennium Bridge (London) (2000) Altes Museum, Berlin [23]
22 2000 Koolhaas, RemRem Koolhaas Netherlands Casa da Música, Porto (2003) Jerusalem Archaeological Park [33]
23 2001 Herzog & de Meuron Switzerland Tate Modern (2000) Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia [34]
24 2002 Murcutt, GlennGlenn Murcutt Australia Berowra Waters Inn (1983) Campidoglio, Rome [35]
25 2003 Utzon, JørnJørn Utzon Denmark Sydney Opera House (1973) Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid [36]
26 2004 Hadid, ZahaZaha Hadid Iraq
United Kingdom
Contemporary Arts Center (2003) Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg [23][D]
27 2005 Mayne, ThomThom Mayne United States San Francisco Federal Building (2007) Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago [37]
28 2006 Mendes da Rocha, PauloPaulo Mendes da Rocha Brazil Saint Peter Chapel, Campos do Jordão, São Paulo (1987) Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul [38]
29 2007 Rogers, RichardRichard Rogers United Kingdom Lloyd's building (1986) Banqueting House, Whitehall, London[39][E]
30 2008 Nouvel, JeanJean Nouvel France Torre Agbar (2005) Library of Congress, Washington DC [23][40]
31 2009 Zumthor, PeterPeter Zumthor Switzerland Therme Vals (1996) Legislative Palace of the City Council, Buenos Aires [23][41]
32 2010 Sejima, KazuyoKazuyo Sejima and
Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA)
Japan 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2003) Ellis Island, New York City
33 2011 Souto de Moura, EduardoEduardo Souto de Moura Portugal Estádio Municipal de Braga (2004) Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Washington DC [42]
34 2012 Wang Shu China Ningbo Museum, (2008) Great Hall of the People, Beijing [43]
35 2013 Ito, ToyoToyo Ito Japan Sendai Mediatheque, (2001) John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston [44]
36 2014 Ban, ShigeruShigeru Ban Japan Centre Pompidou-Metz (2010) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam[45]
37 2015 Otto, FreiFrei Otto Germany Olympic Stadium, Munich (1972) New World Center, Miami [19][20]
38 2016 Aravena, AlejandroAlejandro Aravena Chile Siamese Towers, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2005) United Nations Headquarters, New York City[46][47]

Table notes

A. a Roche was born in Ireland.[48]
B. b Pei was born in China.[49]
C. c Gehry was born in Canada.[50]
D. d Hadid was born in Iraq.[51]
E. e Rogers was born in Italy.[52]

See also




  1. "The Purpose of the Pritzker Architecture Prize". Pritzker Architecture Prize official site. The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
  2. Pollard, Lawrence (April 13, 2009). "Swiss architect wins top honour". BBC News. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Goldberger, Paul (May 28, 1988). "Architecture View; What Pritzker Winners Tell Us About the Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  4. McLean, Pauline (June 9, 2011). "Riverside Museum architect visits 'sophisticated shed'". BBC News. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  5. 1 2 Endicott, Katherine (October 14, 2006). "The Mexican garden revisited". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  6. 1 2 3 "Nomination Process". Pritzker Architecture Prize official site. The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  7. 1 2 "History". Pritzker Architecture Prize official site. The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
  8. "Ceremony and Medal". Pritzker Architecture Prize official site. The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  9. "2009 Jury Members". Pritzker Architecture Prize official site. The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  10. "Cityscapes: How to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize: Practice, practice, practice (and don't be shy about nominating yourself)".
  11. "Jury". The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  12. "Partner Without the Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  13. "Pritzker Architecture Prize Committee Denies Honors for Denise Scott Brown". Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  14. Catriona Davies (May 29, 2013). "Denise Scott Brown: Architecture favors 'lone male genius' over women". CNN.
  15. "Philip Johnson – 1979 Laureate – Jury Citation". Pritzker Architecture Prize official site. The Hyatt Foundation. Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  16. "Hadid designs landmark building". BBC News. January 15, 2005. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  17. "Pritzker Architecture Prize 1984 Announcement". The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  18. "Media Kit: Announcing the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate". The Hyatt Foundation. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  19. 1 2 "Frei Otto, 2015 Laureate". Pritzker Architecture Prize. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  20. 1 2 Pritzker Prize for Frei Otto, German Architect, Announced After His Death, Robin Pogrebin, The New York Times, March 10, 2015
  21. "People – In the News". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. May 23, 1979. p. 2. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  22. Reynolds, Nigel (March 23, 2004). "Top prize for architect who is ignored by fellow British". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pilkington, Ed (April 14, 2009). "Swiss architect untouched by fad or fashion wins prized Pritzker award". The Guardian. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  24. 1 2 Muschamp, Herbert (April 26, 1993). "Pritzker Prize for Japanese Architect". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  25. 1 2 "The Pritzker Architecture Prize Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary Honoring Two Laureates for 1988".
  26. Iovine, Julie (September 5, 1997). "Aldo Rossi, Architect of Monumental Simplicity, Dies at 66". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  27. Blau, Eleanor (April 8, 1991). "Robert Venturi Is to Receive Pritzker Architecture Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  28. Ribeiro, Ana Maria (February 24, 2009). "Siza Vieira fala para casa cheia". Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  29. Muschamp, Herbert (May 2, 1994). "Priztker prize goes to French architect for the first time". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  30. Viladas, Pilar (August 19, 2001). "Fashion's New Religion". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
  31. Samaniego, Fernando (June 1, 1997). "El noruego Sverre Fehn recibe el Pritzker de Arquitectura en el museo Guggenheim Bilbao". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  32. Muschamp, Herbert (April 20, 1998). "Renzo Piano Wins Architecture's Top Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  33. "Koolhaas receives 'Nobel of architecture' in Jerusalem". CNN. May 29, 2000. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  34. "Herzog & de Meuron Propose Castle in The Sky for Hamburg". Das Spiegel. June 14, 2005. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  35. "Top honour for Australian architect". BBC News. April 16, 2002. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  36. "Prize for Opera House designer". BBC News. April 7, 2003. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  37. "Paris skyscraper to rival tower". BBC News. November 28, 2006. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  38. Forgey, Benjamin (April 9, 2006). "Brazilian wins Pritzker Prize". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  39. Glancey, Jonathan (March 29, 2007). "Rogers takes the 'Nobel for architecture'". The Guardian. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  40. "Nouvel wins top architect's prize". BBC News. March 31, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  41. Pogrebin, Robin (April 12, 2009). "Pritzker Prize Goes to Peter Zumthor". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  42. Taylor, Kate (March 28, 2011). "Souto de Moura Wins 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  43. Basulto, David (February 2012). "2012 Pritzker Prize: Wang Shu". Arch Daily. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  44. Hawthorne, Christopher (March 17, 2013). "Japanese architect Toyo Ito, 71, wins Pritzker Prize". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  45. Hawthorne, Christopher (March 24, 2014). "Architect Shigeru Ban, known for disaster relief, wins Pritzker Prize". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  46. "Announcement". Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  47. "Ceremony". Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  48. "Architecture Award to Kevin Roche". The New York Times. December 14, 1992. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  49. Barboza, David (October 9, 2006). "I. M. Pei in China, Revisiting Roots". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  50. "Frank O. Gehry. (American, born Canada 1929)". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  51. "Zaha Hadid. (British, born Iraq, 1950)". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  52. "Richard Rogers, Architect". The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
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