Pritzker! Pritzker!

6 years ago by

Pritzker! Pritzker!

In the world of architecture, being awarded the Pritzker Prize is a little like receiving an Oscar or César or Nobel Prize… It’s a really really big deal. Huge. Everyone would be totally cool with joy if you cried with happiness if you won.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established “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.” And laureates include Renzo Piano, Luis Barragan, Zaha Hadid, and Tadao Ando (just to name a few!)…

The winner for 2016 was names yesterday: Alejandro Aravena, a Chilean architect who the jury recognized as having “risen to the demands of practicing architecture as an artful endeavor, as well as meeting today’s social and economic challenges.” 

I think that’s pretty incredible — to maintain the art of design but to continue to be thoughtful in how one’s work can contribute to a better society. That’s why I love Aravena’s approach so much, at the forefront of all he does is his belief that the city should be viewed as a place of equity.

Ok, so I’m a fan! 
(Of his designs and his ethos)(And I can’t say that about every single Pritker Prize winner)

But what do you think? Who’s your favorite Pritzker winner? I think mine might still be Barragan…




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  • Shout out to Neada for making architecture a part of this blog. I appreciate it!

  • Shigeru Ban and Sanaa !!! definetly

  • Genevieve January, 14 2016, 2:35 / Reply

    Wonderful post. I don’t know enough about architecture to have a favorite but I appreciate your sharing this.

  • I’m not sure I have a favourite among the Pritzker award winners — there are so many winners who have done really interesting work. It’s an award that has a lot of credibility for a good reason.

  • bavarian_blue January, 14 2016, 3:20 / Reply

    Tadao Ando for living areas, Renzo Piano for public buildings, …

  • GAH! I just discovered that Alejandro Aravena designed one of the dorms on my college campus St. Edward’s University! These dorms opened up the second semester of my freshman year and I lived in them for that semester.

    Check it out: http://arts.blog.austin360.com/2016/01/13/pritzker-architecture-prize-winner-designed-st-eds-dorm/

  • Perso je souhaitais que ce soit Dominique Perrault qui le mérite amplement! Et puis un peu de “made in France” c’est bien!
    Pour le gagnant on le retrouvera dès le mois de mai à la biennale de Venise. Le RDV est donné, j’y serai en espérant que ce soit une très bonne édition.
    Perso mes préférés sont Sanaa, Zumthor, Herzog et De Meuron et Barragan!

  • mosaic_world January, 15 2016, 3:14 / Reply

    I don’t follow the Pritzker every year but I love the work of Tadao Ando. also I caught the TED talk by Aravena this past weekend and was very impressed by his ideas. I skimmed his company website and bio and then felt like winning the Pritzker was something he was moving towards from the start of his career. I admire his total commitment and his interest to solve human problems.

    I think Thom Mayne’s work is also cool and bold. I am biased b/c I once volunteered on a tour for one of his buildings and get to see some of his company’s LA work first-hand.

  • Caroline January, 15 2016, 4:57 / Reply

    First of all, Naeda, thanks for all the latest posts (on fashion, architecture) and for bringing a new voice in this blog!
    Second, I didn’t know Alejandro Aravena until now, so I’m happy to discover his work.
    My favourites architects being Zumthor, Koolhas and then all the Japanese architects, Sanaa (the Louvre Lens is a must see), Shigeru Ban, Ando,…

  • Caroline January, 15 2016, 4:59 / Reply

    Sorry for the second comment, but I forgot all the Brazilian architects! Oscar Niemeyer being my absolute favourite… Anyway, once again, great subject.

  • I also don’t know much about architecture, but it’s great to read about it here.
    I appreciate the beautiful pictures!


  • Portzamparc !

  • I’m very proud about Alejandro Aravena,, he gives design to the people that can’t afford it. That’s the way, I think you can return what you learned

  • Thank you for your post! I am an architect, and it makes me feel very nice when I see non architects appreciate architecture, especially in crisis times that our work is questioned and considered a luxury!! I think that this year’ price proves the accessibility of design, as mentioned above!! Still my favorite is Peter Zumthor, a timeless approach to architecture in my opinion one, that promotes a whole way of life!!!

  • I really love the jury decided to take into account social impact architecture has.

  • Pritzker laureates I appreciate include Frei Otto, Sejima + Nishizawa, and Glenn Murcutt

  • Bravo Neada for posts like this. I do not know of any other blog that makes me feel like I am in the middle of it all; fashion, beauty, culture, arts, people! Such a beautiful balance!! And I love it because that is what I try to do with my life, fill it with all the beautiful, interesting and remarkable things around.

    I’m curious, did you go to school for something related to interior design/architecture? Or you are just a huge fan and lover of it?
    Who also has a great eye I might add.

  • haha, murcutt! but i grant you, for a future in sustainable (social and environmental) urban development i fear he s not the one to look to. but i do sooo appreciate the poetic simplicity.

  • Je viens de decouvrir Rem Koolhaas et Carlos Arnaiz : des genies a suivre.

  • I loved this quote from Disney’s the Incredibles. ….If everyone is special, then no one is. Maybe when I get older I will appreciate equity more.

  • zuperserena January, 17 2016, 6:07 / Reply

    Remember, it was the villain who said that, and I think it showed his spiritual limitation very well. The picture you see is social housing. He believes the real challenge for an architect is to do more with limited resources. He challenged other renowned architects to use their talent to improve the lives of lower income people, making a difference in their lives through design, within the constraints of a social housing budget. The world is so unequal, the resources for social housing are so meager, that basically he challenged himself to do magic with them.

  • Mr. Aravena is a fine architect, and I love that he has an emphasis on social housing. He has been, however, a Pritzker juror for the past 7 (I think) years, bowing out this year and accepting the award. To me, this smacks of nepotism. The Pritzker rules need to be changed to disallow jury members to win future awards within a set period of time.

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