Wang Shu wins Pritzker Prize

Big congratulations to Wang Shu of Hangzhou-based Amateur Architecture studio who was named yesterday as the 2012 Pritzker Prize Architecture Laureate. Not only is the first Chinese ever to win the prestigious accolade, at 49 years old he's also one of the youngest. He and his wife Lu WenYu founded the now award-winning studio back in 1997 and set about responding to the destruction of China's urban areas and the rapid development of the rural through architecture, often incorporating recycled and reclaimed materials. An overwhelmed Wang said, "I am tremendously honored to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. I suddenly realized that I've done many things over the last decade. It proves that earnest hard work and persistence lead to positive outcomes." Indeed it does. The nine-strong jury were particularly impressed with Wang's approach to preservation, stating: "The question of the proper relation of present to past is particularly timely, for the recent process of urbanization in China invites debate as to whether architecture should be anchored in tradition or should look only toward the future. As with any great architecture, Wang Shu?s work is able to transcend that debate, producing an architecture that is timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal". His History Museum at Ningbo was f?ted as "one of those unique buildings that while striking in photos, is even more moving when experienced. The museum is an urban icon, a well-tuned repository for history and a setting where the visitor comes first. The richness of the spatial experience, both in the exterior and interior is remarkable. This building embodies strength, pragmatism and emotion all in one". Established by Jay and Cindy Pritzker in 1979, the prize seeks to "honor 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". Sponsored by none other than the Hyatt Foundation, the award consists of 100,000USD and a bronze medallion. Library of Wenzheng College, 1999-2000, Suzhou Ceramic House, 2003-2006, Jinhua Ningbo History Museum, 2003-2008, Ningbo For more of Wang's work, check the Pritzker site here