Pritzker Prize goes to SANAA
by David Owen
The Pritzker Architecture Prize for 2010 goes to Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners in the Tokyo-based firm SANAA. The jury lauded the pair's work as "delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever... creating a sense of fullness and experiential richness." SANAA has several significant built works in Japan, with noteworthy projects in Europe and the United States as well.
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The Pritzker jury cited four museum buildings as exemplars of Sejima and Nishizawa's design acumen: the O-Museum (1999) in Nagano, Japan; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (2004) in Kanazawa, Japan; the Glass Pavilion (2006) at the Toledo Museum of Art, in Toledo, Ohio; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art (2007) in New York City.
These buildings typify the particularly expressive while still tightly disciplined minimalism that marks out SANAA's evolving style.
Sejima is the second-ever female laureate of the prestigious award, after Zaha Hadid of the United Kingdom (2004). The 2010 selection also marks only the third time the Pritzker Prize has been awarded concurrently to two architects. In 1988, the honor went to both Oscar Niemeyer of Brazil and Gordon Bunschaft of the United States, and in 2001, Swiss partners Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron shared the prize.
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