Pritzker Architectural Prize 2024:
Winner Announced

Pritzker Architectural Prize 2024: <br>Winner Announced

“A house always has a place that is open to the outside world,” states Japanese architect and social advocate, Riken Yamamoto, who has been named the 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate. Founded in 1979, the annual award honours a living architect or creative office whose work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision and commitment. It signifies a consistent and outstanding contribution to the built environment through the art of architecture. We spotlight some of Riken Yamamoto’s projects and list former recipients whose structures celebrate the power of forward-thinking urban design.

Riken Yamamoto | 2024

“For me, to recognise space, is to recognise an entire community, says Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto.“ The current architectural approach emphasizes privacy, negating the necessity of societal relationships. However, we can still honour the freedom of each individual while living together in architectural space as a republic, fostering harmony across cultures and phases of life.” Yamamoto defines community as a “sense of sharing one space,” deconstructing traditional notions of freedom and privacy. He rejects conditions that have reduced housing into a commodity without relation to the neighbourhood.

Yamamoto’s structures bridge the gap between cultures, histories, generations and inhabitants, by adapting international influence and modernist architecture to the needs of communities. Throughout his five decades-long career, he has completed private residences, public housings, elementary schools, university buildings and civic spaces. Some of his works include The Circle at Zürich Airport (Switzerland, 2020) Ecoms House in Tosu (Japan, 2004) and the Yokosuka Museum of Art (Japan, 2007).

David Chipperfield | 2023

Before receiving the Pritzker Architectural Prize in 2023, Sir David Alan Chipperfield (b. 1953) had worked with widely recognised architects and collaborative offices including Douglas Stephen, 1999 Pritzker Prize laureate Norman Foster and 2007 recipient Richard Rogers. He says: “Designing isn’t coming up with colours and shapes. It’s about developing a series of questions and ideas which have a certain rigour and consequence to them. And if you can do that, it doesn’t matter which path you go down, as long as you go down the path well and have been consequential in the process.” Some of Chipperfield’s projects include the BBC Scotland HQ, in Glasgow (2007), the restoration of Berlin’s Neues Museum (Germany, 2009) and the completion of The Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield (UK, 2011).

Diébédo Francis Kéré | 2022

“Good architecture in Burkina Faso is a classroom where you can sit, have light that is filtered, entering the way that you want to use it, across a blackboard or on a desk. (…) Creating climate conditions to give basic comfort allows for true teaching, learning and excitement,” states Burkina Faso-born Francis Kéré (b. 1965). His work has expanded beyond school buildings in African countries and included structures in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Kéré worked on commissions such as the National Assembly of Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou, and the Benin National Assembly, currently under construction. In 2017, Kéré designed the Serpentine Gallery’s annual pavilion. The temporary structure’s detached roof resonated with those of his buildings in Africa. At the same time, rainwater was funnelled into the centre of the structure before irrigating the landscape, to highlight global water scarcity.

Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara | 2020

Yvonne Farrell (b. 1951) and Shelley McNamara (b. 1952) met during their studies at the School of Architecture at University College Dublin, where they later both became professors. “Teaching for us has always been a parallel reality,” comments Farrell. “And it’s a way of trying to distil our experience and gift it to other generations coming along so that they actually play a role in the growing of that culture. So it’s a two-way thing, we learn from students and hopefully, students learn from us.” In 1978, along with three other practitioners, they established Grafton Architects. Their former projects include Navan’s Solstice Arts Centre (Ireland, 2007), the Loreto Community School in Milford (Ireland, 2006) and the UTEC University Campus in Lima (Peru, 2015). In 2012, Grafton Architects was the recipient of Venice Biennale’s Silver Lion Award for the exhibition, Architecture as New Geography, and were appointed as co-curators for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice in 2018.

Zaha Hadid | 2004

Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) was born in Baghdad Iraq and completed her studies at the American University in Beirut in mathematics. She moved to London in 1972 to study architecture at the Architectural Association. Known as a creative who consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design, her work experiments with new spatial concepts intensifying existing urban landscapes and encompassing all fields of design, from the urban scale to interiors and furniture. She is known for built works such as the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein (Germany, 1993) the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich (UK, 1999) and Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Centre (Azerbaijan, 2012).

Tadao Ando | 1995

“In all my works, light is an important controlling factor,” says Osaka-born Tadao Ando (b. 1941), recipient of the 1995 Pritzker Architectural Prize. “I create enclosed spaces mainly by means of thick concrete walls. The primary reason is to create a place for the individual, a zone for oneself within society. When the external factors of a city’s environment require the wall to be without openings, the interior must be especially full and satisfying.” As an architecture student in the 1960s, he discovered a book about Le Corbusier which inspired him to use materials such as concrete, glass and steel. These substances are closely associated with Ando, however, he has used wood on a few occasions, such as the Japan Pavilion for Expo ‘92 in Spain. Other works include Osaka’s Church of the Light (Japan, 1989), the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum’s Annex (Japan, 1995) and the He Art Museum in Shunde (Japan, 2020).

Image credits

1.Gabriel Goulart

2. Yokosuka Museum of Art, photo courtesy of Tomio Ohashi

3. The Hepworth Wakefield 2011 West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan

4. Serpentine Pavilion 2017 London, United Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan 

5. University Campus UTEC Lima, Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan

6. Heydar Aliyev Centre, Azerbaijan, Baku 2012. Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan

7. Tadao Ando. He Art Museum.  Photo: Loegunn Lai