Wang Shu Awarded the 2012 Pritzker PrizeFeb 28, 2012
Wang Shu is the first architect in China to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and at 48, the fourth youngest. The architect is celebrated for his commitment to China’s history in a time of rapid development, integrating salvaged materials in experimental modern forms. He established Amateur Architecture Studio in 1998 with Lu Wenyu in Hangzhou, China with a focus on craft and its application to contemporary architecture. Quoted in the New York Times, Wang Shu says, “My work is more thoughtful than simply ‘built,’ ” adding that the “handicraft aspect” of his work is important to him, as a contrast to what he considers much of the “professionalized, soulless architecture, as practiced today.” Mr. Wang’s major projects have been in China, including two in the coastal city of Ningbo, south of Shanghai: the Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum (2005) and the Ningbo Historic Museum (2008). Wang Shu was the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor in Architecture in Fall 2011 and gave a lecture titled “Geometry and Narrative of Natural Form.”
The selection of Mr. Wang “represents a significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals,” said Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize and announced the winner on Monday. The formal ceremony for this high honor will be held in Beijing on May 25.