Monday, March 29, 2010
Each year about this time The Pritzer Architecture Prize, the architecture profession’s most prestigious award, is announced. This is a good time to introduce a unit on architecture because there will be national architecture news online, on TV, and in magazines and newspapers.
This year the Pritzker has been given to Kazuyo Sejima (right) and Ryue Nishizawa (left), partners in the Tokyo–based architecture firm SANAA formed in 1995. It is not often that the prize is awarded to a team or more than one person. The winning partners were recognized for their ability to create buildings where the physical presence retreats and forms a sensuous background for people, objects, activities, and landscapes.
SANAA’s projects have included the New Museum’s new building in New York city, the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. SANAA's Zollverein School of Management and Design (right), in Essen, Germany, was completed in 2006. The Pritzker jury included 1998 Pritzker winner Renzo Piano and seven other architects.
Their new Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, opened earlier this year, and they are currently at work designing a satellite branch of Paris’s Louvre museum for Lens, France. Sejima was also recently named director of the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennial, becoming the first woman to hold the position.
Previous Pritzker winners have included many of the profession’s leading architects, including Philip Johnson (the first recipient, in 1979), Richard Meier, and Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron, who were the last partners to share the prize.
Click on the heading above to learn more about the Pritzker Prize.