The Pritzker Prize, the highest honor in the world of architecture, was awarded on Tuesday to Briton David Chipperfield, 69, known for the minimalism and elegance of his designs. “Subtle but powerful”, “he is a prolific architect who is radical in his restraint”and whose style “timeless and modern confronts climate emergencies, transforms social relations and revitalizes cities”greeted the organizers in a press release.
David Chipperfield is particularly known for the colossal rehabilitations of the Neues Museum in Berlin and the Palace of the Old Procuraties, which borders the mythical Saint Mark’s Square in Venice. He said to himself “overwhelmed” by the emotion of receiving “this extraordinary honor”.
A “reward as an encouragement”
“I take this award as an encouragement to continue to direct my attention not only to the substance of architecture and its meaning, but also to the contribution we can make as architects to face the existential challenges of climate change. and societal inequality”he added, in the same press release. “We know that as architects we can play a bigger and more engaged role in creating a world that is not only more beautiful but also fairer and more sustainable”he continued.
Born in London in 1953, David Chipperfield worked for renowned architects such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers before founding his own firm. He notably designed the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, the America’s Cup Building in Valencia, Spain and the headquarters of BBC Scotland in Glasgow.
In France, he worked on the rehabilitation of the former administrative site of the Seine prefecture, the Morland Mixité Capitale project. A restoration that “revitalizes the neighborhood with luxury housing and social housing, shops and restaurants, a hotel and a hostel” notably, according to the Pritzker Prize release.
Most recently, his agency was chosen to renovate the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the largest in Greece and one of the most important of its kind in the world. The project by David Chipperfield Architects and his Greek partner Tombazis includes the creation of two new levels of underground galleries and a hanging garden on the roof, intended to create 20,000 square meters of additional space. David Chipperfield succeeds Burkinabe architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, who was the first from an African country to receive the Pritzker Prize.