- Article by Tili Bensley-Nettheim
The Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture’s highest honor, has announced the appointments of Alejandro Aravena as jury chair and Manuela Lucá-Dazio as the next executive director, beginning in March 2021.
“Throughout the history of the Prize, we have consistently relied on the diversity, expertise and standing of our jury members to interpret the evolving role of architecture as it responds to the changing needs of community, environment and technology,” says Tom Pritzker, chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award.
“We are pleased to welcome back Alejandro Aravena, and in a renewed capacity as he brings with him a fresh model of leadership to steward our independent, international and esteemed jury.”
“Likewise, we are delighted to work with Manuela Lucá-Dazio in this new season as we continue our privilege of honoring architects who have impressed upon the industry through the art of architecture and their service to humanity.”
Alejandro Aravena, 2016 Laureate of the Pritzker Prize, is founder and executive director of ELEMENTAL, a “Do Tank” focusing on projects of public interest and social impact including housing, public space, infrastructure and transportation.
On his appointment, Aravena said: “Historically, architecture has been about creating innovative alternatives and imagining possibilities, but it is also intimately connected with society.”
“As jurors, our task is, first, to be sensitive to those questions society would like the architectural profession to address, and to identify those architects that are trying to use the discipline’s body of knowledge to translate those questions into projects.”
“I am honored to join this group effort aimed to improve the quality of the built environment.”
Aravena was the recipient of the 2019 ULI J.C. Nichols Prize, the 2018 RIBA Charles Jencks Award and the first architect to receive the Gothenburg Sustainability Award in 2017. He was Curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 and served on the Pritzker Prize Jury from 2009 to 2015.
Aravena joins a distinguished class of previous Jury Chairs: Justice Stephen Breyer (2019-2020), who remains as a member of the Jury; Australia’s Glenn Murcutt (2017-2018); Lord Peter Palumbo (2005-2016) and the late J. Carter Brown (1978-2004).
Manuela Lucá-Dazio will serve as the next executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, taking over from Martha Thorne who has held the position since 2005.
Lucá-Dazio most recently served as the Executive Director of the Department of Visual Arts and Architecture of La Biennale di Venezia. She has managed exhibitions with distinguished curators, architects, artists, and critics to realize the International Art Exhibition and the International Architecture Exhibition since 2009.
“It is for me an enormous honor to become the next Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, an essential point of reference in the architecture world, and even more at such a key historical moment for the architectural discourse and practice,” says Lucá-Dazio.
The 2020 Pritzker Prize was most recently awarded to Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, of Dublin, Ireland, and presented during the first-ever video ceremony. The 2021 Laureate will be announced early next spring.