« Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura named winner of 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize
Eduardo Souto de Moura, a 58-year-old architect from Portugal, is the jury’s choice for the 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honour will be in one of Washington, DC’s finest classical buildings, the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on June 2, 2011.
In announcing the jury’s choice, Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, elaborated, « This marks the second time in the history of the prize that a Portuguese architect has been chosen. The first was in 1992 when Alvaro Siza was so honoured. »
The purpose of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which was founded in 1979 by the late Jay A. Pritzker and his wife, Cindy, is to honour annually a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. The laureates receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion.
Pritzker Prize jury chairman, The Lord Palumbo, spoke from his home in the United Kingdom, quoting from the jury citation that focuses on the reasons for this year’s choice: « During the past three decades, Eduardo Souto de Moura has produced a body of work that is of our time but also carries echoes of architectural traditions. » And further, « 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. »
As a student, Souto de Moura worked for Alvaro Siza for five years. Since forming his own office in 1980, Souto de Moura has completed well over 60 projects, most in his native Portugal, but he has designs in Spain, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland. The projects include single-family homes, a cinema, shopping centres, hotels, apartments, offices, art galleries and museums, schools, sports facilities and subways. »
(Source: Canadian Architect and Nicolas Marier)