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Pritzker Prize 2023 for David Chipperfield!

07 of March '23

The winner of the 2023 Pritzker Prize is Sir David Alan Chipperfield. So the world's most important architectural award honors this time the creator of architecture that serves culture and heritage. Chipperfield is "radical in his restraint," the—declares the jury. We can experience the works of his studio less than 100 kilometers beyond the country's western border—on Museum Island in Berlin.

Sir David Alan Chipperfield is British, born in 1953, and runs an international studio that has a number of acclaimed architectural projects largely concerned with culture, heritage and science—with an emphasis on museums. These include the River and Rowing Museum in the UK's Henley-on Thames, the Museum of Contemporary Literature in Germany's Marbach, the reconstruction and tactful transformation of the Neues Museum in Berlin (1997-2008), or, also serving a reception function for the local Museum Island, the James-Simon-Gallerie (2018). Chipperfield's account also includes other buildings, also with other functions of public utility, in Europe and the Americas.

River and Rowing Museum, pritzker 2023

River and Rowing Museum, | Neues Museum, Berlin -.

© courtesy of Richard Bryant / Arcaid | © courtesy of SPK / David Chipperfield Architects, photo: Joerg von Bruchhausen

The Pritzker Prize jury justifies its verdict today with a synthesis of Chipperfield's character:

Subtle but powerful, subdued but elegant, he is a prolific architect who is radical in his restraint, demonstrating his respect for history and culture while respecting the pre-existing built andnatural environment as he reimagines the functionality and accessibility of new buildings, renovations and restorations through timeless, modern design that confronts pressing climate change, transforms social relationships and revitalizes cities.

James-Simon-Gallerie, Berlin, proj. David Chipperfield

James-Simon-Gallerie, Berlin, designed by David Chipperfield

© courtesy of Simon Menges

already half a hundred

The Pritzker Prize, considered the most important (or one of the most important) in the world of architecture, has been awarded since 1979 on the initiative of a couple of wealthy American hoteliers, Jay and Cindy Pritzker. In doing so, the founders wanted not only to raise awareness of architecture in society, but also to stimulate creativity in the architectural community. Often referred to as the "architectural Nobel Prize," it is awarded by the Hyatt Foundation for lifetime achievement to a living architect or design team. Applications for the award are accepted until the end of October each year.

Suggestions for people to be awarded are collected from esteemed architects (including past winners), lecturers, politicians and journalists. Any architect with a license to practice may also submit their types. Among the criteria considered by the jury are the designer's talent and vision, the functionality of his works, their impact on the environment (including—on a regional scale) and the development of architecture.

The name of the winner is currently being announced by founder Jay Pritzker's son Thomas. This year's jury included, as in the previous edition: architects and architects Alejandro Aravena (chairman) Deborah Berke, Kazuyo Sejima, Wang Shu, Benedetta Tagliabue, Manuela Lucá-Dazio (also director of the Hyatt Foundation), architectural historian Barry Bergdoll, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and architecture critic André Aranha Corrêa do Lago.

Morland Mixité Capitale, Paryż

Morland Mixité Capitale, Paris

© courtesy of: Simon Menges

growing differences

The first time the Pritzker Prize went to Philip Johnson. Since then, the number of awardees has grown to fifty artists. They include Tadao Ando, Jean Nouvel, Oscar Niemayer, Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid (full list: here) The latter was the first woman to receive the Pritzker- only in 2004! After her, only a few more female architects were awarded (not infrequently in teams with men).

In the last decade, the nature of the award-winning figures diversifies more strongly. The jury recognizes architects with significantly different approaches to architecture. On the one hand are designers in their prime: Francis Kéré (2022), Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal (2021) or Alejandro Aravena (2016)—with their creative, socially sensitive designs far from spectacular forms or broad iconicity. On the other hand—the Pritzker goes to age-old doyens such as Arata Isozaki (2019) or Frei Otto (2015)—with their more expressive realizations.

Jakub Głaz

The vote has already been cast