SANAA wins 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize

March 28, 2010

SANAA awarded 2010 Pritzker Prize for ‘architecture that is delicate and powerful, precise and fluid’.

Japanese duo Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, of Tokyo-based architecture firm SANAA, have been announced as the 2010 Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Pritzker Prize jury chairman, Lord Palumbo, said Sejima and Nishizawa were selected for this year’s prize “for architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever; for the creation of buildings that successfully interact with their contexts and the activities they contain, creating a sense of fullness and experiential richness; for a singular architectural language that springs from a collaborative process that is both unique and inspirational.”

Notable projects by SANAA include the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio; New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa Japan; Christian Dior Building in Tokyo; and the recently completed Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland (see a video of the project ["here":]). SANAA also built the ["2009 Serpentine Pavilion":] in the London – their first built project in the United Kingdom.

Sejima, who will this year curate the Venice Architecture Biennale, said she was “thrilled” to receive the award: “I have been exploring how I can make architecture that feels open, which I feel is important for a new generation of architecture. With this prize I will continue trying to make wonderful architecture.” Nishizawa said he was “very honoured and at the same time very surprised,” adding: “Every time I finish a building I revel in possibilities and at the same time reflect on what has happened. Each project becomes my motivation for the next new project. In the same way this wonderful prize has given me a dynamic energy that I have never felt before.”

Each year, the Pritzker Prize is awarded to “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.”

It is the first time the honour has been shared between a male-female team, and only the third time that two architects have been awarded in the same year – after Gordon Bunshaft and Oscar Niemeyer (1988) and Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (2001).

The duo will receive the prize at a ceremony on Ellis Island, New York on 17 May 2010. They will receive bronze medallions and a US$100,000 grant at the ceremony.

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