Pritzker Architecture Prize
Medal of the Pritzker Architecture Prize
Awarded for A career of achievement in the art of architecture.
Sponsor Hyatt Foundation
Reward US$100,000
First awarded 1979
Last awarded 2013
Official website

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to "honor a living architect 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 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, as of 2009, 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] The present prize Chair is Lord Palumbo; earlier chairs were J. Carter Brown (1979–2002), and Lord Rothschild (2003–04).

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".[11] The 2004 laureate Zaha Hadid was the first female prize winner.[12] Ryue Nishizawa became the youngest winner in 2010 at age 44.[13] The 34th 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".[14] The most recent winner, in 2013, is Japanese architect Toyo Ito.[15]


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."[16] 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 who won in 1991, and 2012 respectively.[17] 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."[18]


Year Laureate Nationality Photo Example work (year completed) Ceremony location Ref(s)
1979 Johnson, PhilipPhilip Johnson Glass House (1949) Dumbarton Oaks [19]
1980 Barragán, LuisLuis Barragán 100px Torres de Satélite (1957) Dumbarton Oaks [5]
1981 Stirling, Sir JamesSir James Stirling Seeley Historical Library (1968) National Building Museum [20]
1982 Roche, KevinKevin Roche Knights of Columbus Building (1969) Art Institute of Chicago [3][A]
1983 Pei, Ieoh MingIeoh Ming Pei National Gallery of Art, East Building (1978) Metropolitan Museum of Art [21][22][B]
1984 Meier, RichardRichard Meier High Museum of Art (1983) National Gallery of Art [3]
1985 Hollein, HansHans Hollein Abteiberg Museum (1982) The Huntington Library [3]
1986 Böhm, GottfriedGottfried Böhm Christi Auferstehung, Cologne (1968) Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths [3]
1987 Tange, KenzōKenzō Tange St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo (1964) Kimbell Art Museum [23]
1988 Bunshaft, GordonGordon Bunshaft Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (1963) Art Institute of Chicago [3]
1988 Niemeyer, OscarOscar Niemeyer  Brazil Cathedral of Brasília (1958) Art Institute of Chicago [3]
1989 Gehry, FrankFrank Gehry
Walt Disney Concert Hall (1999–2003) Tōdai-ji [22][C]
1990 Rossi, AldoAldo Rossi Bonnefanten Museum (1990) Palazzo Grassi [24]
1991 Venturi, RobertRobert Venturi National Gallery (London), Sainsbury Wing (1991) Palacio de Iturbide [25]
1992 Vieira, Álvaro SizaÁlvaro Siza Vieira Pavilion of Portugal in Expo'98 (1998) Harold Washington Library [26]
1993 Maki, FumihikoFumihiko Maki Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium (1991) Prague Castle [23]
1994 de Portzamparc, ChristianChristian de Portzamparc French Embassy, Berlin (2003) The Commons, Columbus, Indiana [27]
1995 Ando, TadaoTadao Ando Nagaragawa Convention Center (1995) Palace of Versailles [28]
1996 Moneo, RafaelRafael Moneo Kursaal Palace (1999) Getty Center [22]
1997 Fehn, SverreSverre Fehn Norwegian Glacier Museum (1991) Guggenheim Museum Bilbao [29]
1998 Piano, RenzoRenzo Piano Kansai International Airport (1994) White House [30]
1999 Foster, NormanNorman Foster Millennium Bridge (London) (2000) Altes Museum [22]
2000 Koolhaas, RemRem Koolhaas Casa da Música, Porto (2003) Jerusalem Archaeological Park [31]
2001 Herzog & de Meuron Tate Modern (2000) Monticello [32]
2002 Murcutt, GlennGlenn Murcutt Berowra Waters Inn (1983) Michelangelo's Campidoglio [33]
2003 Utzon, JørnJørn Utzon Sydney Opera House (1973) Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Fernando [34]
2004 Hadid, ZahaZaha Hadid
Bridge Pavilion (2008) Hermitage Museum [22][D]
2005 Mayne, ThomThom Mayne San Francisco Federal Building (2007) Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park [35]
2006 da Rocha, Paulo MendesPaulo Mendes da Rocha Saint Peter Chapel, São Paulo (1987) Dolmabahçe Palace [36]
2007 Rogers, RichardRichard Rogers Lloyd's building (1986) Banqueting House, Whitehall [37]
2008 Nouvel, JeanJean Nouvel Torre Agbar (2005) Library of Congress [22][38]
2009 Zumthor, PeterPeter Zumthor Therme Vals (1996) Legislative Palace of the City Council, Buenos Aires [22][39]
2010 Kazuyo Sejima and
Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA)
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2003) Ellis Island [22]
2011 Eduardo Souto de Moura Estádio Municipal de Braga, Braga (2004) Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium [40]
2012 Wang Shu Ningbo Museum, Ningbo (2008) Great Hall of the People, Beijing [41]
2013 Toyo Ito Sendai Mediatheque, Sendai (2001) John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston [15]

Table notes

A. a Roche was born in Ireland.[42]
B. b Pei was born in China.[43]
C. c Gehry was born in Canada.[44]
D. d Hadid was born in Iraq.[45]

See also




External links

  • Pritzker Architecture Prize official site

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