2016 Pritzker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena. Photograph by Cristobal Palma



Pritzker Prize

Architecture's equivalent to the Nobel, the Pritzker Prize is awarded every year to an architect or architects whose work demonstrates a consistent and significant contribution to society. Previous winners have included Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry, Peter Zumthor, Richard Rogers and the late Zaha Hadid.

2016's laureate was Alejandro Aravena, who jumped to number 14 on our overall Hot List as a result of his win. It helped both his and the Pritzker's ranking that his win generated controversy. In an exclusive interview with Dezeen, the Chilean architect – best known for his work with Elemental, an architecture group that aims to tackle poverty and eliminate slums – attacked universities for not preparing young architects for global challenges such as the housing crisis.

Aravena's comments and the decision to honour him with the Pritzker Prize didn't please everyone. Zaha Hadid Architects director Patrick Schumacher took to Dezeen's comments section to express his disdain for the choice, declaring the prize had "mutated into a prize for humanitarian work".

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