U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, as well as widely acclaimed Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Zaha Hadid of the United Kingdom, will join the jury that selects Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates, it was announced today by Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation which sponsors the prize.
In addition to his distinguished career in the law, Justice Breyer has a long history of interest in art and architecture, having authored the foreword to a book titled, “Celebrating The Courthouse: A Guide For Architects, Their Clients, And The Public” in 2006. Further, in 2009, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies honored him with the first Leonore and Walter H. Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts at a ceremony where the chairman of the foundation, Jo Carole Lauder, said, “His passion for ensuring that federal buildings — where our country’s democratic principles are upheld — represent modern day thinking and culture is truly admirable. Since the birth of our nation, America’s ever changing democracy has been captured through art and architecture and, thanks to Justice Breyer, this legacy will continue.”
Hadid, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2004, has since become one of the world’s busiest architects with projects in numerous countries, including the United States, China, Germany, Spain and Italy. The distinguished architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, who at the time was a Pritzker juror, said: “Zaha Hadid is one of the most gifted practitioners of the art of architecture today.”
More after the break.
With the addition of Breyer and Hadid, the Pritzker jury will now consist of eight people, including its chairman, Lord Palumbo of the United Kingdom, and (alphabetically) Alejandro Aravena from Chile, architect and executive director of Elemental; Yung Ho Chang, who is an architect and educator from Beijing, China, and is currently a professor at MIT; Australian architect Glenn Murcutt who is the 2002 Pritzker Laureate; Juhani Pallasmaa of Finland, who is an architect, professor and author; and Karen Stein, a writer, editor and architectural consultant in the U.S. Martha Thorne, who is the associate dean for external affairs at the IE School of Architecture in Madrid, Spain, is the executive director.
In making the announcement, Pritzker stated: “The members of the Pritzker jury are now, and always have been thoughtful, outstanding individuals from diverse backgrounds providing sometimes surprising insight to architectural achievement in our time. Our family is constantly proud and honored that these individuals are willing to give of their time in choosing architects to be singled out for excellence.”
The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established by The Hyatt Foundation in 1979 to honor 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. It has often been described as “architecture’s most prestigious award” or as “the Nobel of architecture.”
The prize takes its name from the Pritzker family, whose international business interests are headquartered in Chicago. They have long been known for their support of educational, social welfare, scientific, medical and cultural activities. Jay A. Pritzker, who founded the prize with his wife, Cindy, died on January 23, 1999. His eldest son, Thomas J. Pritzker, has become chairman of The Hyatt Foundation.