| Mar 29, 2011 |
Portuguese architect wins Pritzker Architecture Prize
By Staff

Eduardo Souto de Moura was awarded the 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize by a distinguished jury.

Chaired by Lord Palumbo, the jury included Alejandro Aravena, Carlos Jimenez, Glenn Murcutt, Juhani Pallasmaa, Renzo Piano, Karen Stein and Martha Thorne.

“This marks the second time in the history of the prize that a Portuguese architect has been chosen. The first was in 1992 when Alvaro Siza was so honored,” said Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, who announced the winner.

Previous laureates include Philip Johnson in 1979; Luis Barragán in 1980; Richard Meier in 1984; Robert Venturi in 1991, Frank Gehry in 1989, Renzo Piano in 1998; Sir Norman Foster in 1999; and Rem Koolhaas in 2000; Zaha Hadid in 2004; and many more.

“During the past three decades, Eduardo Souto de Moura has produced a body of work that is of our time but also carries echoes of architectural traditions," said Pritzker Prize jury chairman, Lord Palumbo. “His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics — power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and a sense of intimacy —at the same time.”

Since forming his own office in 1980, Souto de Moura has completed well over sixty projects, most in his native Portugal, but he has designs in Spain, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland. The projects include single family homes, a cinema, shopping centers, hotels, apartments, offices, art galleries and museums, schools, sports facilities and subways. As a student, Souto de Moura worked for Alvaro Siza for five years.

Founded in 1979 by the late Jay A. Pritzker and his wife, Cindy, the  Pritzker Architecture Prize annually honors 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 laureates receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion.

The field of architecture was chosen by the Pritzker family because of their keen interest in building due to their involvement with developing the Hyatt Hotels around the world; and because architecture is a creative endeavor not included in the Nobel Prizes.

The procedures were modeled after the Nobels, 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.

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