Wang Shu has been announced the winner of the Pritzker Prize joining the ranks of Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Rem Koolhaas in receiving architecture’s highest prize.
Apart from the great honor of the prize (generally considered the architecture world’s equivalent to the Nobel prize), the winner is given $100,000 and a bronze medallion. Wang is the second Chinese architect to be awarded this prize, following I.M. Pei’s 1983 award, although he is the first Chinese architect whose career has been solely in China. The jury praised the importance of Wang’s work in a country that is modernizing and urbanizing at top speed. “My starting point is always the site,” stated Wang, “I need to understand about the life, the people, the weather.” Wang reworks Chinese styles with recycled materials and designs only with a pencil, focusing on the more traditional craft of architecture and design. Wang Shu was born in 1963 inUrumqi. He received his architecture degree from the Nanjing Institute of Technology. Wang and his wife Lu Wenyu founded their firm, Amateur Architecture Studio, in 1997 inHangzhou. The Pritzker Prize was established 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.”