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2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize ceremony to be held in China

Dezeen Wire:
the ceremony for next year's Pritzker Prize for architecture will take place in Beijing, the first time the ceremony has ever been held in China.

The announcement of the 2012 host city was made by the Mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong and Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, who explained that it is an appropriate time for the awards to take place in China as many of the laureates including Zaha HadidJacques Herzog and Pierre de MeuronRem Koolhaas and Norman Foster are responsible for completed or ongoing projects in the country.

The venue for the ceremony has yet to be disclosed but previous events have been held at historically significant sites including France’s Palace of Versailles, the White House in Washington and the Todai-ji Temple in Japan.

See all of our stories on previous Pritzker Prizes here.

Here is some more information from the Pritzker Prize organisers:

Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony Will Be Held in China Next Year

The 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony will be held in Beijing, China on May 25, 2012, it was disclosed today In a joint announcement by Guo Jinlong, the Mayor of Beijing, China and Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation.

Pritzker elaborated, “Over the three decades of prize-giving, we have held ceremonies in fourteen different countries, in venues ranging from the White House in Washington DC to Todai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan.   The tradition of moving the event to world sites of architectural significance was established to emphasize that the prize is international, the laureates having been chosen from 16 different nations to date.  This will be our 34th event marking the first time we have gone to China.”

“It is particularly appropriate that we should go to China because so many of the laureates have projects there, either in work or completed, including one of our earliest laureates, Ieoh Ming Pei,  who won the prize in 1983”, Pritzker continued.  “ Some of the others include the 2002 Pritzker Laureate from London, Zaha Hadid’s new opera house in Guangzhou; the 2001 laureates Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Switzerland who designed Beijing’s National Stadium; Rem Koolhaas of The Netherlands whose projects in China include a Television Cultural Center in Beijing and a Shenzen Stock Exchange; and the1999 Pritzker Laureate Norman Foster who has completed the Hong Kong International Airport as well as the headquarters for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banks.”

Mayor Guo Jinlong said, “The Pritzker Architecture Prize is the most recognized award in the architectural field throughout the world.  We believe holding this event in Beijing will further raise the awareness of the Pritzker Prize in China, and promote the development of the architectural industry in Beijing and China as a whole.  Hosting the ceremony in Beijing will also attract many globally reputable architecture firms and architects to participate in building Beijing as the most liveable city and famous cultural capital.”

Pritzker pointed out that the juries for the prize have always been international as well, and currently has members from China,  the United Kingdom, Chile, Australia, Finland and the United States,  and in past years had members from Japan, India, Mexico, and  Switzerland.  The current Pritzker jury now consists of eight  people, including its chairman, Lord Palumbo of the United Kingdom, and (alphabetically) Alejandro Aravena from Chile, architect and executive director of Elemental;  Stephen Breyer, a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Yung Ho Chang, who is an architect and educator from Beijing, China;  Zaha Hadid, who is an architect based in London who was the 2004 Pritzker Laureate;  Australian architect;  Glenn Murcutt who was the 2002 Pritzker Laureate;  Juhani Pallasmaa of Finland, who is an architect, professor and author; and Karen Stein, a writer, editor and architectural consultant in the U.S.    Martha Thorne, the associate dean for external affairs at the IE School of Architecture in Madrid, Spain, is the executive director.

The specific building to be used for the ceremony in Beijing is still under consideration, but the category of the site to be chosen is likely to be of historic significance.  In addition to the White House and Todai-ji Temple, past sites have included France’s Palace of Versailles and Grand Trianon;  Prague Castle in The Czech Republic. Some of the most beautiful museums in the United States have hosted the event: Chicago’s Art Institute, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Fort Worth’s Kimball Art Museum. This year, one of Washington’s finest classical building, the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium was the ceremony location. The U.S. capital has been the site, in all,  five times: once at the Library of Congress and twice at Dumbarton Oaks, and once at  the National Gallery of Art’s East Building designed by Pritzker Laureate I.M. Pei, and the already mentioned Mellon Auditorium.  Other sites designed by laureates of the Pritzker Prize were Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and Richard Meier’s Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Further plans for guests attending the ceremony in Beijing are being formulated, including seminars, and building tours of the city’s old and new architecture.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established by The Hyatt Foundation in 1979 to honor annually 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.

The field of architecture was chosen by the Pritzker family because of their keen interest in buildings due to their involvement with developing the Hyatt Hotels around the world; and because architecture was a creative endeavor not included in the Nobel Prizes. The procedures were modeled after the Nobel Prizes, with the final selection being made by the international jury with all deliberations and voting in secret. Nominations are continuous from year to year with hundreds of nominees from countries all around the world being considered each year.  It has often been described by the media as “architecture’s most prestigious award” or as “the Nobel of architecture.”

The prize takes its name from the Pritzker family, whose international business interests are headquartered in Chicago.  They have long been known for their support of educational, social welfare, scientific, medical and cultural activities.  When Jay A. Pritzker, who founded the prize with his wife, Cindy, died on January 23, 1999, his eldest son, Thomas J. Pritzker, became chairman of The Hyatt Foundation.

The late Philip Johnson was the first Pritzker Laureate in 1979. The late Luis Barragán of Mexico was named in 1980. The late James Stirling of the United Kingdom  was elected in 1981. Laureates since then by year are as follows: (if no country is noted, the laureate is from the United States) Kevin Roche in 1982, Ieoh Ming Pei in 1983, Richard Meier in 1984, Hans Hollein of Austria in 1985, Gottfried Böhm of Germany in 1986,  Kenzo Tange of Japan in 1987, in 1988 there were two laureates named: Oscar Niemeyer of Brazil and Gordon Bunshaft, Frank Gehry in 1989, the late Aldo Rossi of Italy in 1990, Robert Venturi in 1991, Alvaro Siza of Portugal in 1992. Christian de Portzamparc of France in 1994, Tadao Ando of Japan in 1995, Rafael Moneo of Spain in 1996, the late Sverre Fehn of Norway; in 1997,  Renzo Piano of Italy in 1998, Norman Foster of the UK in 1999, Rem Koolhaas of the Netherlands in 2000,    Glenn Murcutt of Australia in 2002, the late Jørn Utzon of Denmark in 2003,  Zaha Hadid of the UK in 2004, Thom Mayne in 2005, Paulo Mendes da Rocha of Brazil in 2006, Richard Rogers of the UK in 2007, Jean Nouvel of France in 2008, Peter Zumthor of Switzerland in 2009, partners Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA, Inc. in Japan in 2010, and Eduardo Souto de Moura of Portugal in 2011.


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