Pritzker Architecture Prize - A List of Laureates

Winners of the Pritzker Architecture Prize

Each year the Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded to professionals—an individual architect or collaborators—who have made important accomplishments in the field of architecture and design. While the selections by the Pritzker Prize jury are sometimes controversial, there is no doubt that these architects are among the most influential of modern times. Here is a list of all the Pritzker Laureates, starting with the most recent and continuing back to 1979 when the Prize was first established. 

2017: Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta, Spain

Old foundry modernized office space, 2008 Olot, Girona, Spain
Offices of RCR Arquitectes, Barberí Laboratory, 2008, in Olot, Girona, Spain. Photo © Hisao Suzuki, courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize (cropped)

For the first time in Pritzker history, the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize was awarded to three people for their work as a team. Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta working as RCR Arquitectes are from Olot, Spain and work in offices that used to be an early 20th century foundry. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, the team connects exterior and interior spaces. Like Frank Gehry, they are quick to experiment with modern materials like recycled steel and plastic. In their studio shown here, a center steel table can be lowered to become part of the floor space. "What sets them apart," writes the Pritzker Jury, "is their approach that creates buildings and places that are both local and universal at the same time." Their architecture expresses old and new, local and universal, now and the future. "Their works are always the fruit of true collaboration and at the service of the community," cites the Pritzker Jury.

Quinta Monroy Housing
Quinta Monroy Housing "Half of a good house" approach by ELEMENTAL, 2004, Iquique, Chile. Photos by Cristobal Palma, copyright and courtesy of ELEMENTAL

Aravena's ELEMENTAL team approaches public housing very pragmatically. “Half of a good house” (left) is financed with public money and the residents themselves complete their neighborhood to their own liking. Aravena has called this approach Incremental Housing and Participatory Design.

"The role of the architect is now being challenged to serve greater social and humanitarian needs, and Alejandro Aravena has clearly, generously and fully responded to this challenge."—2016 Pritzker Jury Citation More »

Umbrellas designed by Frei Otto for Pink Floyd’s 1977 concert tour of the United States
Umbrellas designed by Frei Otto for Pink Floyd’s 1977 concert tour of the United States. Photo © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn via PritzkerPrize.com (cropped)

"He is a world-renowned innovator in architecture and engineering who pioneered modern fabric roofs over tensile structures and also worked with other materials and building systems such as grid shells, bamboo, and wooden lattices. He made important advances in the use of air as a structural material and to pneumatic theory, and the development of convertible roofs. Otto made the results of the research available to other architects. He always favored collaboration in architecture."—The 2015 Pritzker Biography of Frei Otto More »

2014: Shigeru Ban, Japan

Shigeru Ban-designed Paper Log House, 2001, Bhuj, India
Shigeru Ban-designed Paper Log House, 2001, Bhuj, India. Paper Log House, 2001, Bhuj, India. Photo by Kartikeya Shodhan, Shigeru Ban Architects courtesy Pritzkerprize.com

"Shigeru Ban is a tireless architect whose work exudes optimism. Where others may see insurmountable challenges, Ban sees a call to action. Where others might take a tested path, he sees the opportunity to innovate. He is a committed teacher who is not only a role model for younger generations, but also an inspiration."—2014 Pritzker Jury Citation

Photo of Sendai Mediatheque, looking into glass to each floor space.
Sendai Mediatheque by Toyo Ito, 1995—2000, Sendai-shi, Miyagi, Japan. Toyo Ito's Sendai Mediatheque courtesy Nacasa and Partners Inc., pritzkerprize.com

"For nearly 40 years, Toyo Ito has pursued excellence. His work has not remained static and has never been predictable. He has been an inspiration and influenced the thinking of younger generations of architects both within his land and abroad."—Glenn Murcutt, 2002 Pritzker Laureate and 2013 Pritzker Jury Member. More »

Ningbo History Museum, 2003-2008, Ningbo, China, by 2012 Pritzker winner Wang Shu
Ningbo History Museum, 2003-2008, Ningbo, China, by 2012 Pritzker winner Wang Shu. Ningbo History Museum ©Hengzhong/Amateur Architecture Studio courtesy pritzkerprize.com

Dr. Shu's interest in craftsmanship and historic restoration may well influence the urbanization of China. "In awarding the Pritzker Prize to Wang Shu, a young Chinese architect, the jury has sought both to reward past work that meets the Prize's high standards and to send a message of optimism, recognizing and encouraging the promise of similar work in the future."—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Pritzker Jury Member. More »

2011: Eduardo Souto de Moura, Portugal

Paula Rêgo Museum in Cascais, Portugal by Eduardo Souto de Moura
Paula Rêgo Museum in Cascais, Portugal by Eduardo Souto de Moura. Pritzker Prize Media Photo © Luis Ferreira Alves

Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura is the Pritzker Prize Pick for 2011.  "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," says Pritzker Prize jury chairman, Lord Palumbo.

2010: Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Japan

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. Sejima + Nishizawa. SANAA, architects.
21st Century Museum, Kanazawa, Japan. © Junko Kimura/Getty Images. 21st Century Museum, Kanazawa, Japan. © Junko Kimura/Getty Images

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa shared the Pritzker Prize in 2010. Their firm, Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates (SANAA), is praised for designing powerful, minimalist buildings using common, everyday materials. Both Japanese architects also design independently. "In the individual firms, we each think about architecture on our own and struggle with our own ideas," they said in the ceremony acceptance speech. "At the same time, we inspire and critique each other at SANAA. We believe working this way opens up many possibilities for both of us. The fact that we have both been awarded the prize gives us so much confidence and we are very happy and truly touched....Our aim is to make better, innovative architecture and we will continue to put forth our best effort to do so."

2009: Peter Zumthor, Switzerland

Peter Zumthor Designed Brother Klaus Field Chapel, Wachendorf, Eifel, Germany, 2007
Peter Zumthor Designed Brother Klaus Field Chapel, Wachendorf, Eifel, Germany, 2007. Photo by Walter Mair courtesy Hyatt Foundation, Pritzkerprize.com (cropped)

The son of a cabinet maker, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor is often praised for the detailed craftsmanship of his designs. "In Zumthor’s skillful hands," cites the Pritzker Jury, "like those of the consummate craftsman, materials from cedar shingles to sandblasted glass are used in a way that celebrates their own unique qualities, all in the service of an architecture of permanence. The same penetrating vision and subtle poetry are evident in his writings as well, which, like his portfolio of buildings, have inspired generations of students. In paring down architecture to its barest yet most sumptuous essentials, he has reaffirmed architecture’s indispensable place in a fragile world."

The Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, Architect Jean Nouvel.
The Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, Architect Jean Nouvel. Photo by Raymond Boyd / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images (cropped)

Taking cues from the environment, flamboyant French architect Jean Nouvel places an emphasis on light and shadow. Nouvel became a Pritzker Laureate for what the Jury cited as his "persistence, imagination, exuberance, and, above all, an insatiable urge for creative experimentation." More »

Exterior of Lloyds of London Building Designed by Sir Richard Rogers
Exterior of Lloyds of London Building Designed by Sir Richard Rogers. Photo by Richard Baker In Pictures Ltd./ Corbis Historical / Getty Images

British architect Richard Rogers is known for "transparent" high tech designs and a fascination for buildings as machines. Rogers said in his acceptance speech that his intention with the Lloyds of London building was "to open buildings up to the street, creating as much joy for the passer-by as for the people who work inside." More »

Cava Estate, Brazil. © Nelson Kon
Cava Estate, Brazil. © Nelson Kon. Cava Estate, Brazil. © Nelson Kon
Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha is known for bold simplicity and an innovative use of concrete and steel. More »
Perot Museum of Nature & Science designed by Thom Mayne, 2013, Dallas, Texas
Perot Museum of Nature & Science designed by Thom Mayne, 2013, Dallas, Texas. Photo by George Rose/Getty Images News Collection/Getty Images
American architect Thom Mayne has won many awards for designing buildings that move beyond modernism and postmodernism. More »
Horizontal, modern, linear steel and glass art museum in Michigan.
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid, Michigan State University, opened in 2012. Broad Art Museum, 2012 photo by Paul Warchol, Resnicow Schroeder Associates
From parking garages and ski-jumps to vast urban landscapes, Zaha Hadid's works have been called bold, unconventional, and theatrical. The Iraqi-born British architect was the first woman to win a Pritzker Prize. More »
Sydney Opera House, Australia. ©NewOpenWorld Foundation
Sydney Opera House, Australia. ©NewOpenWorld Foundation. Sydney Opera House, Australia. ©NewOpenWorld Foundation

Born in Denmark, Jørn Utzon was perhaps destined to design buildings that evoke the sea. He was the architect for the famous and controversial Sydney Opera House in Australia. More »

Magney House, Australia. © Anthony Browell
Magney House, Australia. © Anthony Browell. Magney House, Australia. © Anthony Browell
Glenn Murcutt is not a builder of skyscrapers or grand, showy buildings. Instead, the Australian architect is known for smaller projects that conserve energy and blend with the environment. More »
National Stadium, Beijing, China. ©Guang Niu/Getty Images
National Stadium, Beijing, China. ©Guang Niu/Getty Images. National Stadium, Beijing, China. ©Guang Niu/Getty Images
Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are two important Swiss architects known for innovative construction using new materials and techniques. The two architects have nearly parallel careers. More »
China Central Television, Beijing. ©Feng Li/Getty Images
China Central Television, Beijing. ©Feng Li/Getty Images. China Central Television, Beijing. ©Feng Li/Getty Images
Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has been called in turns Modernist and Deconstructivist, yet many critics claim that he leans toward Humanism. Koolhaas's work searches for a link between technology and humanity. More »
Daewoo Research and Development Headquarters, South Korea. © Richard Davies
Daewoo Research and Development Headquarters, South Korea. © Richard Davies. Daewoo Research and Development Headquarters, South Korea. © Richard Davies
British architect Sir Norman Foster is known for "High Tech" design that explores technological shapes and ideas. In his work, Sir Norman Foster often uses off-site manufactured parts and the repetition of modular elements. More »
Lingotto Factory Conversion, Italy. © M. Denancé
Lingotto Factory Conversion, Italy. © M. Denancé. Lingotto Factory Conversion, Italy. © M. Denancé
Renzo Piano is often called a "High-Tech" architect because his designs showcase technological shapes and materials. However, human needs and comfort are at the center of Piano's designs. More »
Norwegian Glacier Museum © Jackie Craven
Norwegian Glacier Museum © Jackie Craven. Norwegian Glacier Museum © Jackie Craven
Norwegian Architect Sverre Fehn was a Modernist, yet he was inspired by primitive shapes and Scandinavian tradition. Fehn's works were widely praised for integrating innovative new designs with the natural world. More »

1996: Rafael Moneo, Spain

CDAN, the Beulas Foundation's Art and Nature Centre in Huesca city, Spain, 2006
CDAN, the Beulas Foundation's Art and Nature Centre in Huesca city, Spain, 2006. Photo by Gonzalo Azumendi / The Image Bank / Getty Images (cropped)

Spanish architect Rafael Moneo finds inspiration in historic ideas, especially Nordic and Dutch traditions. He has been a teacher, theorist, and architect of a variety of projects, incorporating new ideas into the historic environments. The Pritzker Jury writes that "he believes in the built work, and that once built, the work must stand on its own, a reality that is far more than a translation of the architect's drawings." Moneo was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize for a career that was "the ideal example of knowledge and experience enhancing the mutual interaction of theory, practice and teaching."

1995: Tadao Ando, Japan

Light comes through large cross in wall of Church of the Light, 1989 Japan, Designed by Tadao Ando
Church of the Light, 1989 Japan, Designed by Tadao Ando. Church of the Light, 1989. Photo by Ping Shung Chen/Moment/Getty Images
Japanese architect Tadao Ando is known for designing deceptively simple buildings constructed of unfinished reinforced concrete.

1994: Christian de Portzamparc, France

One57 Overlooking Central Park, Skyscraper Designed by Portzamparc
One57 Overlooking Central Park, Skyscraper Designed by Portzamparc. Photo by Raymond Boyd / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images (cropped)

Sculptural towers and vast urban projects are just some of the projects by French architect Christian de Portzamparc. The Pritzker Jury declared him "a prominent member of a new generation of French architects who have incorporated the lessons of the Beaux Arts into an exuberant collage of contemporary architectural idioms, at once bold, colorful and original." In 1994 the Jury expected "the world will continue to benefit richly from his creativity," and that we did in 2014 with the completion of One57, a 1004-foot residential skyscraper overlooking Central Park in New York City.

Urban building, white aluminum and glass
Spiral Building, 1985, Tokyo, Japan. Spiral Building (1985) © Luis Villa del Campo, luisvilla on flickr.com, CC BY 2.0

Tokyo-based architect Fumihiko Maki is widely praised for his work in metal and glass. A student of Pritzker winner Kenzo Tange, Maki "has fused the best of both eastern and western cultures," according to the Pritzker jury citation. More »

Piscina Leca, Palmeira, Portugal, 1966, Designed by Portuguese Architect Alvaro Siza
Piscina Leca, Palmeira, Portugal, 1966, Designed by Portuguese Architect Alvaro Siza. Photo by JosT Dias / Moment / Getty Images

The acclaimed Portugese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira won fame for his sensitivity to context and a fresh approach to modernism. "Siza maintains that architects invent nothing," cites the Pritzker Jury, "rather they transform in response to the problems they encounter." More »

The Vanna Venturi House by Pritzker Prize Laureate Robert Venturi
The Vanna Venturi House near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Pritzker Prize Laureate Robert Venturi. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Archive Photos Collection/Getty Images

American architect Robert Venturi designs buildings steeped in popular symbolism. Mocking the austerity of modernist architecture, Venturi is famous for saying, "Less is a bore." Many critics say that Venturi's Pritzker Prize should have been shared with his business partner and wife, Denise Scott Brown. More »

Facade of green and red horizontal and white vertical lines over glass, Aldo Rossi, Scholastic Bldg
Aldo Rossi-Designed Scholastic Building, 2000, in New York City. Scholastic Building, 2000, photo © Jackie Craven/S. Carroll Jewell

The Italian architect, product designer, artist, and theorist Aldo Rossi (1931-1997) was a founder of the Neo-Rationalist movement. More »

Walt Disney Concert Hall, California. © David McNew/Getty Images
Walt Disney Concert Hall, California. © David McNew/Getty Images. Walt Disney Concert Hall, California. © David McNew/Getty Images
Inventive and irreverant, Canadian-born architect Frank Gehry has been surrounded by controversy for most of his career. More »
Niemeyer Museum of Contemporary Arts, Brazil © Celso Pupo Rodrigues/iStockPhoto
Niemeyer Museum of Contemporary Arts, Brazil © Celso Pupo Rodrigues/iStockPhoto. Niemeyer Museum of Contemporary Arts, Brazil © Celso Pupo Rodrigues/iStockPhoto

Prize shared with Gordon Bunshaft, USA

From his early work with Le Corbusier to his beautifully sculptural buildings for Brazil's new capital city, Oscar Niemeyer shaped the Brazil we see today. More »

Lever House glass entrance, designed by Gorsdon Bunshaft
Lever House Entrance, NYC. Photo (c) Jackie Craven

Prize shared with Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil

In Gordon Bunshaft's New York Times obituary, architecture critic Paul Goldberger wrote that the SOM Partner was "gruff," "stocky," and "one of the most influential architects of the 20th century." With the Lever House and other office buildings, Bunshaft "became the premier purveyor of cool, corporate modernism" and "never let down the flag of modern architecture." More »

Tokyo skyscraper, 48 floors, two-towered design, postmodern light grey color
Tokyo Metropolitan government Building, Designed by Kenzo Tange, 1991. Photo of Tokyo City Hall ©Allan Baxter via Getty Images

Japanese architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005) was known for bringing a modernist approach to traditional Japanese styles. He was instrumental in Japan's Metabolist movement, and his post-war designs helped move a nation into the modern world. The History of Tange Associates reminds us that "the Tange name has been synonymous with epoch-making, contemporary architecture." More »

Pilgrimage Cathedral by Pritzker Winner Gottfried Böhm, 1968, Neviges, Germany
Pilgrimage Cathedral by Pritzker Winner Gottfried Böhm, 1968, Neviges, Germany. Pilgrimage Cathedral, 1968, photo by WOtto WOtto/F1online/Getty Images

German architect Gottfried Böhm aspires to find connections between architectural ideas, designing buildings that in­te­gra­te the old and the new. More »

Haas Haus, 1990 by Hans Hollein, on Stephansplatz in Vienna, Austria
Haas Haus, 1990, by Hans Hollein, on Stephansplatz in Vienna, Austria. Haas Haus, 1990, Vienna. Photo by anzeletti/Collection: E+/Getty Images

Born in Vienna, Austria, March 30, 1934, Hans Hollein became known for postmodernist building and furniture designs. The New York Times called his buildings "beyond category, commingling Modernist and traditional aesthetics in sculptural, almost painterly ways." Hollein died in Vienna on April 24, 2014.

Read Hollein's obituary in The New York Times. More »

1984: Richard Meier, United States

Three Richard Meier Residential Towers, Perry and Charles Streets, New York City
Richard Meier Residential Towers, Perry and Charles Streets, New York City. Residential Towers in NYC photo © Jackie Craven/S.Carroll Jewell
A common theme runs through Richard Meier's striking, white designs. The sleek porcelain-enameled cladding and stark glass forms have been described as "purist," "sculptural," and "Neo-Corbusian."
Pei-designed glass triangular Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
Pei-designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1995, Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Barry Winiker / Collection: Photolibrary / Getty Images

Chinese-born architect I.M. Pei tends to use large, abstract forms and sharp, geometric designs. His glass clad structures seem to spring from the high tech modernist movement. However, Pei is more concerned with function than theory. More »

Three pyramid structures of glass, Kevin Roche-designed College Life Insurance Company
Kevin Roche-designed College Life Insurance Company Headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo ©Serge Melki, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic, via Wikimedia Commons

"Kevin Roche's formidable body of work sometimes intersects fashion, sometimes lags fashion, and more often makes fashion," cited the Pritzker Jury. Critics praised the Irish-American architect for sleek designs and innovative use of glass. More »

Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany, 1983
James Stirling Designed Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, Germany, 1983. Photo © Sven Prinzler courtesy Hyatt Foundation at Pritzkerprize.com

Scottish-born British architect Sir James Stirling worked in many styles during his long and rich career. Architecture critic Paul Goldberger called the Neue Staatsgalerie one of the "most important museum buildings of our era." Goldberger said in 1992, "It is a visual tour de force, a mixture of rich stone and bright, even garish, color. Its facade is a series of monumental terraces of stone, set in horizontal stripes of sandstone and brown travertine marble, with huge, undulating window walls framed in electric green, the whole thing punctuated by huge, tubular metal railings of bright blue and magenta."

Source: James Stirling Made an Art Form of Bold Gestures by Paul Goldberger, The New York times, July 19, 1992 [accessed April 2, 2017] More »

Pictures of Modern Houses: Luis Barragan House (Casa de Luis Barragán) The Minimalist Luis Barragan House, or Casa de Luis Barragán, was the home and studio of Mexican architect Luis Barragán. This building is a classic example of the Pritzker Prize Laureate's use of texture, bright colors, and diffused light.
Pictures of Modern Houses: Luis Barragan House (Casa de Luis Barragán) The Minimalist Luis Barragan House, or Casa de Luis Barragán, was the home and studio of Mexican architect Luis Barragán. This building is a classic example of the Pritzker Prize Laureate's use of texture, bright colors, and diffused light. Photo © Barragan Foundation, Birsfelden, Switzerland/ProLitteris, Zurich, Switzerland cropped from pritzkerprize.com courtesy The Hyatt Foundation
Mexican architect Luis Barragán was a minimalist who worked with light and flat planes. More »
Photo courtesy PHILIPJOHNSONGLASSHOUSE.ORG
Photo courtesy PHILIPJOHNSONGLASSHOUSE.ORG. Photo courtesy PHILIPJOHNSONGLASSHOUSE.ORG
American architect Philip Johnson was honored with the first Pritzer Architecture Prize in recognition of "50 years of imagination and vitality embodied in a myriad of museums, theaters, libraries, houses, gardens and corporate structures." More »