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Pritzker Architecture Prize Awarded to Chinese for First Time

Chinese architect Wang Shu wins “architecture world’s highest honour”


Combining the use of old materials to celebrate the past with contemporary forms, Chinese architect Wang Shu won the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize on the 27th. Wang Shu is not only the first Chinese citizen to be awarded this honour, he is also the fourth youngest winner. Previously, Chinese-American I.M. Pei had also won this award in 1983.

According to reports, Thomas J. Pritzker, the head of the Hyatt Foundation which organises the prize, announced the winner Wang Shu on the 27th. He said, “The selection of Mr. Wang, 48, is an acknowledgment of “the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals.”


Pritzker pointed out: “The question of the proper relation of present to past is particularly timely, for the recent process of urbanization in China invites debate as to whether architecture should be anchored in tradition or should look only toward the future. As with any great architecture, Wang Shu’s work is able to transcend that debate, producing an architecture that is timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal.” [...]


Wang Shu was born in Xinjiang in 1963. He graduated in 1985 from Nanjing College of Engineering majoring in Architecture and gained a doctorate in Architecture in 2000 from Tongji University. He is currently the head of Architectural Arts School at the China Academy of Art, and is known as “The most cultured architect in China”.




User: Time: 2012-03-25 07:47:50
It is the most prestigious prize in architecture. Comparisons with the Nobel are not out of place. Past winners of the prize have included Sir Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Frank O Gehry and Glenn Murcutt.

It is good that local talent is being recognised on the international stage. For too long, major commissions in China have gone to foreign architects who might be talented in their own right, but who may not have fully appreciated the cultural context of their work.
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