2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony to Be Held in China

The 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony will be held in Beijing, China on May 25, 2012. The joint announcement was made by Guo Jinlong, the Mayor of Beijing, China and Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of The Hyatt Foundation.

“Over the three decades of prize-giving, we have held ceremonies in 14 different countries, in venues ranging from the White House in Washington D.C., to Todai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan,” says Pritzker. “The tradition of moving the event to world sites of architectural significance was established to emphasize that the prize is international, the laureates having been chosen from 16 different nations to date. This will be our 34th event marking the first time we have gone to China.”

Pritzker continues, “It is particularly appropriate that we should go to China because so many of the laureates have projects there, either in work or completed, including one of our earliest laureates, Ieoh Ming Pei, who won the prize in 1983. Some of the others include the 2002 Pritzker Laureate from London, Zaha Hadid’s new opera house in Guangzhou; the 2001 laureates Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Switzerland who designed Beijing’s National Stadium; Rem Koolhaas of The Netherlands whose projects in China include a Television Cultural Center in Beijing and a Shenzen Stock Exchange; and the 1999 Pritzker Laureate Norman Foster who has completed the Hong Kong International Airport as well as the headquarters for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banks.

Mayor Guo Jinlong adds, “The Pritzker Architecture Prize is the most recognized award in the architectural field throughout the world. We believe holding this event in Beijing will further raise the awareness of the Pritzker Prize in China, and promote the development of the architectural industry in Beijing and China as a whole. Hosting the ceremony in Beijing will also attract many globally reputable architecture firms and architects to participate in building Beijing as the most livable city and famous cultural capital.”

Pritzker pointed out that the juries for the prize have always been international as well, and currently has members from China, the United Kingdom, Chile, Australia, Finland and the United States. In past years it has had members from Japan, India, Mexico, and Switzerland. The current Pritzker jury consists of eight people, including its chairman, Lord Palumbo of the United Kingdom, and Alejandro Aravena from Chile, architect and executive director of Elemental; Stephen Breyer, a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Yung Ho Chang, an architect and educator from Beijing, China; Zaha Hadid, a London-based architect and the 2004 Pritzker Laureate; Australian architect Glenn Murcutt who was the 2002 Pritzker Laureate; Juhani Pallasmaa of Finland, an architect, professor and author; and Karen Stein, a writer, editor and architectural consultant in the U.S. Martha Thorne, the associate dean for external affairs at the IE School of Architecture in Madrid, Spain, is the executive director.

The specific building to be used for the ceremony in Beijing is still under consideration. Previous sites include the White House and Todai-ji Temple. Further plans for guests attending the ceremony in Beijing are being formulated, ad include seminars and building tours of the city’s old and new architecture.