british architect david chipperfield has won the 2023 Pritzker Prize today, the highest world award for architecture, according to the award ruling. Chipperfield has been in charge of some of the most important projects in modern architecture, including the City of Justice of Barcelona (2002-2011).
The British architect has declared himself “overwhelmed” upon learning of the award decision, that resisted him for years. “As architects we can play a more prominent and committed role in creating not only a more beautiful worldor but also fairer and more sustainable -has said-. We must rise to this challenge and help the next generation to accept this responsibility with vision and courage.”
The name of the English architect, born in London in 1953, has hidden his name over four decades after more than a hundred projects, including interventions in public buildings such as the Neues Museum in Berlin, the Royal Academy of Arts or the Venice Prosecutors (Procuratie Vechie). His studio is based in London, Berlin, Shanghai, Milan and Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, northern Spain).
He trained with Richard Rogers and Norman Foster in his youth, has a very special relationship with the Spanish region of Galicia, his second home, where he has been summering for three decades. The architect and his family have a house in the Galician town of corrubedo.
There he founded in 2017 RIA, a forum for debate, development and promotion of ideas to support the development and protection of the landscape and the local economy in the area, and has carried out collaborations with local firms such as sargadelos.
The Pritzker Prize, considered the highest world recognition of architecture joins other awards: the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the Mies van der Rohe Award -both in 2011- and the Heinrich Tessenow Medal (1999).
A radical architect in his moderation
“Subtle but powerful, moderate but elegant, he is a prolific architect who is radical in his moderation, demonstrating his reverence for history and culture,” says the jury’s decision, which Agencia EFE has had access to. No two David Chipperfield buildings are the same, but different buildings designed specifically for each circumstancedefends ruling.
Faced with the extravagance that has marked architecture in recent decades, the English architect opted for a timeless modernity, marked by elegance, which means that many of his buildings go completely unnoticed and one cannot speak of a hallmark of his work.
“Designing is not inventing colors and shapes. It is about developing a series of questions and ideas that have a certain rigor and consequence, says Chipperfield. And if you can do that, it doesn’t matter which path you follow, as long as you do it well and have been consistent in the process.” The new Pritzker Prize marks the path taken by the prize jury for years, which is committed to an architecture at the service of citizens and cities, more austere and less spectacular.
“Your buildings will always stand the test of time because the ultimate goal of its operation is to serve the greater good. Avoiding what is fashionable has allowed it to endure”, assured Alejandro Aravena, president of the jury and also a Pritzker winner.
The 2023 Pritzker Prize will be awarded in Athens in May, where the architect’s studio has won the restoration of the city’s National Archaeological Museum.