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2017 PREMIO PRITZKER | RCR ARQUITECTES
Landscape and architecture are united to create buildings that are intimately connected to place and time.






Chicago, IL (March 1, 2017)—Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and R2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, RCR Arquitectes, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon Vilaltaamon Vilalta have been selected as the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates, announced Tom Pritzker, Chairman of Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award that is known internationally as architecture’s highest honor.

The three architects, originating from Olot, in the Catalonian region of Spain, have worked together collaboratively since founding their firm RCR Arquitectes, in their hometown in 1988. Their work demonstrates an unyielding commitment to place and its narrative, to create spaces that are in discourse with their respective contexts. Harmonizing materiality with transparency, Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta seek connections between the exterior and interior, resulting in emotional and experiential architecture.

Mr Pritzker remarks: “The jury has selected three architects who have been working collaboratively for nearly three decades. Mr. Aranda, Ms. Pigem and Mr. Vilalta have had an impact on the discipline far beyond their immediate area. Their works range from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions, and their ability to intensely relate the environment specific to each site is a testament to their process and deep integrity.”

2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, RCR Arquitectes, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon VilaltaMr. Aranda, Ms. Pigem and Mr. Vilalta represent the first time that three architects together are honored with the prize. Their intensely collaborative way of working together, where the creative process, commitment to vision and all responsibilities are shared equally, led to the selection of the three individuals for this year’s award. As the winners of the 39th edition of the Prize, it is the second time that laureates hail from Spain, following Rafael Moneo who received the award in 1996. In response to being named the 2017 Laureates of the Pritzker Prize, Ms. Pigem states: “It is a great joy and a great responsibility. We are thrilled that this year three professionals, who work closely together in everything we do, are recognized.”

The locally-based architects evoke universal identity through their creative and extensive use of modern materials including recycled steel and plastic. “They’ve demonstrated that unity of a material can lend such incredible strength and simplicity to a building,” says Glenn Murcutt, Jury Chair. “The collaboration of these three architects produces uncompromising architecture of a poetic level, representing timeless work that reflects great respect for the past, while projecting clarity that is of the present and the future.” As such, an early 20th century foundry has become their office, Barberí Laboratory (2007), and many remnants of the original building have remained, blended with highly contrasting, new elements, which were added only where essential.

Notable projects include La Cuisine Art Center (Nègrepelisse, France, 2014), Soulages Museum in collaboration with G. Trégouët (Rodez, France, 2014), La Lira Theater Public Open Space in collaboration with J. Puigcorbé (Ripoll, Girona, Spain, 2011), Les Cols restaurant marquee (Olot, Girona, Spain, 2011), El Petit Comte Kindergarten in collaboration with J. Puigcorbé (Besalú, Girona, Spain, 2010), Bell-Lloc Winery (Palamós, Girona, Spain, 2007), Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library, Senior Citizen’s Center and Cándida Pérez Gardens (Barcelona, Spain, 2007), and Tossol-Basil Athletics Track (Olot, Girona, Spain, 2000).

The 2017 Pritzker Prize Jury Citation states, in part: “we live in a globalized world where we must rely on international influences, trade, discussion, transactions, etc. But more and more people fear that because of this international influence...we will lose our local values, our local art, and our local customs...Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta tell us that it may be possible to have both. They help us to see, in a most beautiful and poetic way, that the answer to the question is not ‘either/or’ and that we can, at least in architecture, aspire to have both; our roots firmly in place and our arms outstretched to the rest of the world.”

In 2013 Mr. Aranda, Ms. Pigem and Mr. Vilalta founded RCR BUNKA Foundation to support architecture, landscape, arts and culture throughout society. They have been consultant architects to the Natural Park of the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa since 1989. Much of their work may be seen throughout Catalonia, Spain and greater Europe. They remain based in Olot.

This year, the Pritzker Prize ceremony will take place at the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on May 20, 2017.







Jury Citation

Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, three architects who have worked closely together for almost 30 years in a deliberate and thoughtful approach to architecture are recognized with the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Their works admirably and poetically fulfill the traditional requirements of architecture for physical and spatial beauty along with function and craftsmanship, but what sets them apart is their approach that creates buildings and places that are both local and universal at the same time. They established their office, called RCR for their three first names, in Olot, their hometown in the Catalonian region in the northeast of Spain, resisting the call of the metropolis in favor of remaining closely connected to their roots. The process they have developed is a true collaboration in which neither a part nor whole of a project can be attributed to one partner. Their creative approach is a constant intermingling of ideas and continuous dialogue.

2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, RCR Arquitectes, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon VilaltaAll their works have a strong sense of place and are powerfully connected to the surrounding landscape. This connection comes from understanding – history, the natural topography, customs and cultures, among other things – and observing and experiencing light, shade, colors and the seasons. The siting of buildings, the choice of materials and the geometries used are always intended to highlight the natural conditions and pull them into the building. The Bell-Lloc Winery (2007), in the town of Palamós, near Girona, Spain, for example, a building embedded in the ground, is about the soil that produces the grapes, the cool dark cellars needed for the aging of wine and the color and weight of the earth. The extensive use of recycled steel fuses the building with the earth and the openings between the steel slats allow in hints of light.

2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, RCR Arquitectes, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon VilaltaThe marquee (2011) creating an outdoor dining and event space at Les Cols Restaurant in Olot is another example of the fusion of landscape and minimal modern materials to create a useful and popular venue. Some have said that they are reminded of places for countryside meals with family and friends. The space fits into a valley carved out in the landscape by the architects. Strong walls of volcanic stone support a light weight and transparent polymer roof to protect against rain and sun. The furniture and vertical hanging blinds that can sub-divide the space are also of clear plastic, which puts the emphasis on food, festivities and the natural setting.

In other works, such as their own office (2007), a former foundry built at the beginning of the 20th century, the juxtaposition of past and present is undertaken in a most thoughtful, clear and respectful way. Just as exterior and interior are closely intertwined in their works, so are new and old. All of the original industrial building that could remain, was left “as is”. By adding new elements only where needed and in contrasting materials, the architects demonstrate their love for both tradition and innovation. The resulting building, which they call Barberí Laboratory, is comprised of varied, flexible and highly functional spaces. While Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta have a deep sense and knowledge of history, they use materials and modern construction to create spaces that could not have been created before.

2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, RCR Arquitectes, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon VilaltaCommunity is another word that comes to mind when speaking of the work of Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta. Both in the bright and colorful nursery school in Besalú, Girona, El Petit Comte Kindergarten (2010) and the Sant Antoni – Joan Oliver Library, Senior Citizens Center and Cándida Pérez Gardens in Barcelona (2007), those who will inhabit the buildings are at the forefront of their concerns. It is obvious when seeing the rainbow colors of the tubes that define the exterior of the school that this is for children’s enjoyment, creativity, and fantasy. The library, a commission won through a competition, as are many of RCR’s projects, is situated within the fabric of an existing city block, is a needed amenity in this busy part of Barcelona. Visitors are welcomed into the library. The richness and variety of spaces invite exploration and are casual enough to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The library also acts as a gateway to an interior courtyard. The senior citizens center looks onto this space where children, library goers, neighbors and seniors can mingle.

The architects have also tackled important works outside their home in Catalonia. They have built in Belgium and France. The Soulages Museum (2014) in Rodez, France, for example, houses the works of the abstract painter Pierre Soulages and forms a symbiosis with the artist, who seems to paint with light. This building of steel and strong geometric shapes cantilevers over the site, seeming to defy gravity and like many of their other works is in dialogue with the landscape. The architects have sought to create “a space that is as close to nature as possible, enhancing our sense that we are part of it.”

In this day and age, there is an important question that people all over the world are asking, and it is not just about architecture; it is about law, politics, and government as well. We live in a globalized world where we must rely on international influences, trade, discussion, transactions, etc. But more and more people fear that, because of this international influence, we will lose our local values, our local art, and our local customs. They are concerned and sometimes frightened. Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta tell us that it may be possible to have both. They help us to see, in a most beautiful and poetic way, that the answer to the question is not ‘either/or’ and that we can, at least in architecture, aspire to have both; our roots firmly in place and our arms outstretched to the rest of the world. And that is such a wonderfully reassuring answer, particularly if it applies in other areas of modern human life as well.

Each building designed by these architects is special and is uncompromisingly of its time and place. Their works are always the fruit of true collaboration and at the service of the community. They understand that architecture and its surroundings are intimately intertwined and know that the choice of materials and the craft of building are powerful tools for creating lasting and meaningful spaces. For these reasons, exemplified in all their built work, and for their ability to express the local, but also the universal, uniting us with one another through architecture, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta are awarded the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize.



2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, RCR Arquitectes, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon Vilalta



Jury Members

Glenn Murcutt (Chair)
Architect and Pritzker Laureate 2002
Sydney, Australia

Stephen Breyer
U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Washington, D.C.

Yung Ho Chang
Architect and Educator
Beijing, The People’s Republic of China

Kristin Feireiss
Architecture Curator, Writer, and Editor
Berlin, Germany

The Lord Palumbo
Architectural patron, Chairman Emeritus of the Trustees, Serpentine Galleries
Former Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain

London, England

Richard Rogers
Architect and Pritzker Laureate 2007
London, England

Benedetta Tagliabue
Architect and Educator
Barcelona, Spain

Ratan N. Tata
Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group
Mumbai, India

Martha Thorne (Executive Director)
Dean
IE School of Architecture & Design

Madrid, Spain







Biography

2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, RCR Arquitectes, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon VilaltaRafael Aranda (1961), Carme Pigem (1962) and Ramon Vilalta (1960) completed their studies in architecture at the School of Architecture in Valles (Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura del Vallès, or ETSAV) in 1987, and founded their studio, RCR Arquitectes, in their native city of Olot, in the Spanish province of Girona, the following year.

They attribute their early success to a first prize victory in a 1988 competition sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Urbanism, in which they designed a lighthouse in Punta Aldea by pondering the essence of the typology, a fundamental approach that would resonate throughout all of their future works.

This achievement allowed them to explore their distinctive ideas of architecture, informed by place and their own sensitivities, resulting in winning commissions, many of which were undertaken in Catalonia. It is more recently that they have received international accolades and ventured beyond the Spanish borders with projects in other European countries.

Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta have participated in important exhibitions including the III Salon International de l’Architecture in Paris in 1990; the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2016; MoMA’s On-Site: New Architecture in Spain, New York, 2006; Global Ends at Toto Gallery MA in Tokyo, 2010; and RCR Arquitectes. Shared Creativity in Barcelona, 2015 and Madrid, 2016.

They are recipients of the National Award for Culture in Architecture 2005 granted by the Catalonian government; the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 2008 and 2014; Honorary Fellows of the American Institute of Architecture, 2010; International Fellows of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 2012; and awardees of the Gold Medal by the French Académie d’Architecture, 2015.

Since 1989, Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta have served as consultant architects to the Natural Park in the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa. They have taught urbanism, landscape architecture and design studio at ETSAV from 1989-2001, and individually served as critics for diploma project juries at ETSAV and Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona throughout the past two decades. In 2012, they established an international summer workshop at their studio based in the Barberí Laboratory.

They have been invited to give more than 200 lectures throughout Spain and in foreign cities, and their work has been published at great length in books including “RCR Aranda Pigem Vilalta Arquitectes. Entre la abstracción y la naturaleza” by William J.R. Curtis, published by Gustavo Gili, Barcelona (2004); and journals, El Croquis, a+u, Casabella, Detail, Bauwelt, and Arquitectura Viva, among others.

In 2013 they established RCR BUNKA Foundation to support architecture, landscape, arts and culture throughout society.








About the Pritzker Architecture Prize

The Pritzker Architecture Prize was founded in 1979 by the late Jay A. Pritzker and his wife, Cindy. Its purpose is to honor annually 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.



History of the Prize

Pritzker Architecture PrizeThe Pritzker Architecture Prize was established by The Hyatt Foundation in 1979 to annually honor 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 has often been described 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, which include the Hyatt Hotels, are headquartered in Chicago. They have long been known for their support of educational, social welfare, scientific, medical and cultural activities. Jay A. Pritzker, who founded the prize with his wife, Cindy, died on January 23, 1999. His eldest son, Thomas J. Pritzker, has become chairman of The Hyatt Foundation. In 2004, Chicago celebrated the opening of Millennium Park, in which a music pavilion designed by Pritzker Laureate Frank Gehry was dedicated and named for the founder of the prize. It was in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion that the 2005 awarding ceremony took place.

Tom Pritzker explains, “As native Chicagoans, it’s not surprising that we are keenly aware of architecture, living in the birthplace of the skyscraper, a city filled with buildings designed by architectural legends such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and many others.”

He continues, “In 1967, our company acquired an unfinished building which was to become the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Its soaring atrium was wildly successful and became the signature piece of our hotels around the world. It was immediately apparent that this design had a pronounced effect on the mood of our guests and attitude of our employees. While the architecture of Chicago made us cognizant of the art of architecture, our work with designing and building hotels made us aware of the impact architecture could have on human behavior.”

And he elaborates further, “So in 1978, when the family was approached with the idea of honoring living architects, we were responsive. Mom and Dad (Cindy and the late Jay A. Pritzker) believed that a meaningful prize would encourage and stimulate not only a greater public awareness of buildings, but also would inspire greater creativity within the architectural profession.” He went on to add that he is extremely proud to carry on that effort on behalf of his family.

Many of the procedures and rewards of the Pritzker Prize are modeled after the Nobel Prize. Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize receive a $100,000 grant, a formal citation certificate, and since 1987, a bronze medal. Prior to that year, a limited edition Henry Moore sculpture was presented to each Laureate.

Nominations are accepted from all nations; from government officials, writers, critics, academicians, fellow architects, architectural societies, or industrialists, virtually anyone who might have an interest in advancing great architecture. The prize is awarded irrespective of nationality, race, creed, gender or ideology.

The nominating procedure is continuous from year to year, closing in November each year. Nominations received after the closing are automatically considered in the following calendar year. The final selection is made by an international jury with all deliberation and voting performed in secret.



About the Medal

The bronze medallion awarded to each Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize is based on designs of Louis Sullivan, famed Chicago architect generally acknowledged as the father of the skyscraper. On one side is the name of the prize. On the reverse, three words are inscribed, “firmness, commodity and delight.” These are the three conditions referred to by Henry Wotton in his 1624 treatise, The Elements of Architecture, which was a translation of thoughts originally set down nearly 2000 years ago by Marcus Vitruvius in his Ten Books on Architecture, dedicated to the Roman Emperor Augustus. Wotton, who did the translation when he was England’s first ambassador to Venice, used the complete quote as: “The end is to build well. Well-building hath three conditions: commodity, firmness and delight.”




Pritzker Prize on AR








The Evolution of the Jury

The first jury assembled in 1979 consisted of the late J. Carter Brown, then director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the late J. Irwin Miller, then chairman of the executive and finance committee of Cummins Engine Company; Cesar Pelli, architect and at the time, dean of the Yale University School of Architecture; Arata Isozaki, architect from Japan; and the late Kenneth Clark (Lord Clark of Saltwood), noted English author and art historian.

Jury members are invited to serve for a minimum three-year tenure. The gradual changes over time in the jury composition allow for a balance between stability and new perspectives on the committee. Lord Palumbo, well-known architectural patron and former chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, former trustee of the Mies van der Rohe Archives of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, former chairman of the trustees, Serpentine Galleries, served as Chair of the Pritzker Prize Jury from 2005-2016 and continues as a member.

Currently, Glenn Murcutt, architect and 2002 Pritzker Prize Laureate, is Jury Chair. Jury members are assembled from around the world and reflect a variety of professions and points of view. The current jury also includes Kristin Feireiss, architecture curator, writer and editor based in Berlin, Germany, and Ratan N. Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group in Mumbai, India, who each joined the jury in 2013; Benedetta Tagliabue, architect and educator from Italy who has her practice EMBT in Barcelona, Spain; 2007 Pritzker Prize Laureate and British architect, Richard Rogers; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; and Yung Ho Chang, architect and educator of Beijing, The People’s Republic of China.

Others who have served include the late Thomas J. Watson, Jr., former chairman of IBM; the late Giovanni Agnelli, former chairman of Fiat; the late Toshio Nakamura, former editor of a+u in Japan; the Lord Rothschild of the UK; the late Ada Louise Huxtable, author and architecture critic and the longest serving juror to date; and architects including Americans the late Philip Johnson, Frank Gehry and Kevin Roche; as well as the late Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico, Fumihiko Maki of Japan, and the late Charles Correa of India; Jorge Silvetti, architect and professor of architecture at Harvard University; Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, architect, planner and professor of architecture from Ahmedabad, India.

Since 2000, there have been many outstanding names associated with the Pritzker Prize Jury, including, Juhani Pallasmaa, architect, professor and author, Helsinki, Finland; Shigeru Ban, architect, and professor at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan; Victoria Newhouse, architectural historian and author, founder and director of the Architectural History Foundation, New York, New York; Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman Emeritus of Vitra, Basel, Switzerland; Alejandro Aravena, architect and executive director of Elemental, Santiago, Chile; Carlos Jimenez, a principal of Carlos Jimenez professor at the Rice University School of Architecture in Houston, Texas; the late Zaha Hadid, architect and 2004 Pritzker Prize Laureate, Renzo Piano, architect and 1998 Pritzker Prize Laureate, of Paris, France and Genoa, Italy; and Karen Stein, writer, editor and architectural consultant in New York.

Martha Thorne became the executive director of the Pritzker Prize in 2005. Currently, she is Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design, Madrid/Segovia, Spain. Prior to joining IE and academia, she was associate curator of architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago for ten years. While there, she curated such exhibitions as The Pritzker Architecture Prize: The First Twenty Years, as well as Modern Trains and Splendid Stations and Bilbao: The Transformation of a City. The author of numerous books and articles on contemporary architecture, she also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Graham Foundation and the board of the International Archive of Women in Architecture. Currently she assists with competitions and architect selection processes.

Executive Director from 1998 to 2005 was Bill Lacy, architect and advisor to the J. Paul Getty Trust and many other foundations, as well as president of the State University of New York at Purchase. Previous secretaries to the jury were the late Brendan Gill, who was architecture critic of The New Yorker magazine; and the late Carleton Smith. The late Arthur Drexler, who was the director of the department of architecture and design at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, was a consultant to the jury for many years.




Ceremony Venue

2017 ceremony will be at State Guest House, Akasaka Palace, Tokyo, Japan

The State Guest House, also referred to as Geihinkan and formerly known as Akasaka Palace, was originally built as the palace for the Crown Prince in 1909.

Designed during the Japanese Meiji period and influenced by Western Neo-Baroque design, the palace features classic ornate French interiors with traditional Japanese motifs and craftwork. It was designated as a national treasure in 2009 and presently serves as an official accommodation and meeting venue for visiting Heads of State and international dignitaries.

Akasaka Palace is available to the public for limited view throughout the year.

Past Pritzker Architecture Prize ceremonies have been held at France’s Palace of Versailles and Grand Trianon, Todai-ji Bhuddist Temple in Japan, Prague Castle in The Czech Republic, the White House in Washington, D.C., and Beijing’s Great Hall of the People; as well as at distinguished art institutions including The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Altes Museum in Berlin, and the Art Institute of Chicago.



Pritzker Ceremonies Through the Years

Soon after establishing the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1979, the Pritzker family began a tradition of moving the award ceremonies to architecturally and historically significant venues throughout the world. Befitting a truly international prize, the ceremony has been held in fourteen countries on four continents spanning from North and South America to Europe to the Middle East to Far East Asia.

For the first two years of the Prize, the ceremony was held at historic Dumbarton Oaks in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. where the first Laureate Philip Johnson designed a major addition to the estate. Indeed, for six of its first seven years, the prize was awarded in the District of Columbia. Its fourth year, the ceremony traveled for the first time — to the Art Institute of Chicago — but it wasn’t until 1986 that the Pritzker was awarded internationally. That year, the ceremony was held in London.

Since then, the Pritzker Prize ceremony has been held at international venues more often than in the United States. Europe has hosted the ceremony ten times in seven countries, twice each in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. The Pritzker ceremony has visited some of the Old World’s most beautiful and historic locales, old and new, from the 9th century Prague Castle in the Czech Republic to Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, opened in 1997.

Beyond Europe and the U.S., the prize has traveled twice each to the Middle East, East Asia and Latin America. Last year the Prize ceremony was held for the first time in China. Coincidentally, Chinese architect Wang Shu was the Laureate and received the award in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Shu was not the first architect to be so honored in his home country but as ceremony locations are usually chosen each year long before the laureate is selected, there is no direct relationship between the honoree and the ceremony venue.

As architecture is as much art as design, the Pritzker Prize ceremony has been held in numerous museums especially in the United States. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fort Worth’s Kimball Museum and Washington D.C.’s National Gallery of Art have hosted the Pritzker. Libraries too, have been a popular venue choice, including 2013’s site: the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Other examples include the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, the Library of Congress and the Huntington Library, Arts Collections and Botanical Gardens near Los Angeles. The other ceremony held in Los Angeles took place at the Getty Center in 1996, which was designed by Pritzker Laureate Richard Meier. At the time, the museum was only partially completed.

The Prize ceremony often visits newly opened or unfinished buildings. In 2005, the ceremony was held at the new Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Chicago’s Millennium Park, which was designed by Laureate Frank Gehry. It was the second Gehry-designed building that hosted the ceremony, the first being the Guggenheim Museum in Spain. Frank Gehry himself was awarded the Prize in 1989 at Todai-ji in Nara, Japan. Along with Monticello in Virginia and the Palace of Versailles in France, this 8th century Buddhist temple is one of three UNESCO World Heritage sites to host the ceremony. Other historically-important venues for the Pritzker include the Jerusalem Archaeological Park. With the ceremony at the foot of the Temple Mount, it was the Pritzker’s oldest venue. The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, comprised of palaces of the Russian czars, hosted the 2004 ceremony that honored the first female winner of the Award, Zaha Hadid. For the Pritzker Prize’s first visit to Latin America in 1991, the ceremony was held at the Palace of Iturbide in Mexico City where the first Emperor of Mexico was crowned.

Modern-day heads of state have been among the many dignitaries to attend Pritzker ceremonies. U.S. Presidents Clinton and Obama attended ceremonies in Washington in 1998 and 2011 respectively. The former ceremony was held at the White House. The King of Spain attended the 2003 ceremony at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid. The Prime Minister of Turkey and the President of Czech Republic also each attended ceremonies when held in their respective countries.

Like the architects it honors, the Pritzker Prize has often bucked convention, holding its ceremonies in unique spaces. In 1994, when French architect Christian de Portzamparc received the prize, the community of Columbus, Indiana was honored. Because of the support of then-Pritzker juror J. Irwin Miller, numerous notable architects designed buildings in the small Midwest city. In 2010 the ceremony was held in the middle of New York Harbor at Ellis Island’s Immigration Museum. Eight years before, the ceremony took place on one of the seven traditional hills of Rome in Michaelangelo’s monumental Piazza di Campidoglio.



Credits
Text, images and videos courtesy of Pritzker Prize/The Hyatt Foundation | RCR Arquitectes
Images © RCR Arquitectes
Photos © Hisao Suzuki, Ramon Prat, Eugeni Pons, Pep Sau
Drawings © RCR Arquitectes
Videos © Pritzker Prize/The Hyatt Foundation
 
 
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