No. 282 . 12 April 2006 
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Paulo Mendes da Rocha Pritzker Prize

by ArchitectureWeek

Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha has been chosen as the 2006 laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In announcing the jury's choice, Thomas J. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, said, "Mendes da Rocha has shown a deep understanding of space and scale through the great variety of buildings he has designed... While few of his buildings were realized outside of Brazil, the lessons to be learned from his work, both as a practicing architect and a teacher, are universal."

In the 1950s, Mendes da Rocha was part of the São Paulo avant-garde, known as creators of "Paulist" brutalist architecture. These practitioners used simple materials and forms, often emphasizing an ethical dimension in their work. Mendes da Rocha continues to be admired for his sense of responsibility toward the residents of his buildings and the broader society.

Though highly respected throughout South America, he did not receive widespread international recognition until 2000 when he received the Mies van der Rohe Prize for Latin American Architecture. According to Pritzker Prize jury chairman, Lord Palumbo, the 78-year-old laureate "...brings the joyful lilt of Brazil to his work... never afraid of innovation or of taking risks."   >>>

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