Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

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Sep 30, 2011

DESIGN STREET: Top Architects of the year

Finally, I am rolling out top ten architects from across world for the last decade (2001 – 2010) based on the Laureates of Pritzker Prize, in this section of 'Design Street'. For many months, I was trying to find the most suitable way to decide and feature at my blog decade’s top architect of the year, when I stumbled upon "The Pritzker Architecture Prize" considered to be Architecture's Noble Prize. I was impressed with the ‘purpose’ and the jury members who decide this award every year.

But before I go further, let me give you a little brief about the most prestigious award as considered by many in the Architectural Field.

This international prize, which is awarded each year to a living architect for significant achievement, was established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979. Often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor,” it is granted annually.

Purpose
To honor a living architect whose built work demonstrate 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.


Many of the procedures and rewards of the Pritzker Prize are modeled after the Nobel Prize. Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize receive a $100,000 grant, a formal citation certificate, and since 1987, a bronze medallion. Prior to that year, a limited edition Henry Moore sculpture was presented to each Laureate. The award is conferred on the laureate at a ceremony held at an architecturally significant site throughout the world.

Text and Image Curtsey: Pritzker Prize website.

Now back to the top architects of the decade, given in the choronical order of the year they have received the Pritzker Prize.


Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany 
Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, is a Swiss architecture firm, founded and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland in 1978. The careers of founders and senior partners Jacques Herzog (born 19 April 1950), and Pierre de Meuron (born 8 May 1950), closely paralleled one another, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. They are perhaps best known for their conversion of the giant Bankside Power Station in London to the new home of the Tate Modern. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been visiting professors at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 1994 and professors at ETH Zürich since 1999.

In 2001, Herzog & de Meuron were awarded the Pritzker Prize, the highest of honours in architecture. Jury chairman J. Carter Brown commented, "One is hard put to think of any architects in history that have addressed the integument of architecture with greater imagination and virtuosity." This was in reference to HdM's innovative use of exterior materials and treatments, such as silkscreened glass. Architecture critic and Pritzker juror Ada Louise Huxtable summarized HdM's approach concisely: "They refine the traditions of modernism to elemental simplicity, while transforming materials and surfaces through the exploration of new treatments and techniques. In 2006, the New York Times Magazine called them "one of the most admired architecture firms in the world."




Glenn Marcus Murcutt AO (born 25 July 1936) is a British-born Australian architect and winner of the 2002 Pritzker Prize and 2009 AIA Gold Medal.

Murcutt's motto, 'touch the earth lightly', convinces him to design his works to fit into the Australian landscape features. His works are highly economical and multi-functional. Murcutt also pays attention to the environment such as wind direction, water movement, temperature and light surrounding his sites before he designs the building itself. Materials such as glass, stone, timber and steel are often included in his works.

Testament to his influence internationally was the award of the 2002 Pritzker Prize one of the highest distinctions in architecture. In the words of the Pritzker jury: "In an age obsessed with celebrity, the glitz of our 'starchitects', backed by large staffs and copious public relations support, dominate the headlines. As a total contrast, Murcutt works in a one-person office on the other side of the world ... yet has a waiting list of clients, so intent is he to give each project his personal best. He is an innovative architectural technician who is capable of turning his sensitivity to the environment and to locality into forthright, totally honest, non-showy works of art."



Sydney Opera House
Jørn Oberg UtzonAC (9 April 1918 – 29 November 2008) was a Danish architect, most notable for designing the Sydney Opera House in Australia. When it was declared a World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007, Utzon became only the second person to have received such recognition for one of his works during his lifetime. Other outstanding works include Bagsværd Church near Copenhagen and the National Assembly Building in Kuwait. He also made important contributions to housing design, especially with his Kingo Houses near Helsingør.

Utzon had a Nordic sense of concern for nature which, in his design, emphasized the synthesis of form, material and function for social values. His fascination with the architectural legacies of the ancient Mayas, the Islamic world, China and Japan enhanced his vision. This developed into what Utzon later referred to as Additive Architecture, comparing his approach to the growth patterns of nature. A design can grow like a tree, he explained: "If it grows naturally, the architecture will look after itself."




BMW Leipzig
Zaha HadidCBE (born 31 October 1950) is an Iraqi-British architect.

A winner of many international competitions, theoretically influential and groundbreaking, a number of Hadid's winning designs were initially never built: notably, The Peak Club in Hong Kong (1983) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994). In 2002 Hadid won the international design competition to design Singapore's one-north master plan. In 2005, her design won the competition for the new city casino of Basel, Switzerland. In 2004 Hadid became the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Previously, she had been awarded a CBE for services to architecture. She is a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopædia Britannica. In 2006, Hadid was honored with a retrospective spanning her entire work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In that year she also received an Honorary Degree from the American University of Beirut.

In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women"



Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California (1999)
Thom Mayne (b. January 19, 1944, in Waterbury, Connecticut) is a Los Angeles-based architect. Educated at University of Southern California (1969) and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1978, Mayne helped found the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in 1972, where he is a trustee. Since then he has held teaching positions at SCI-Arc, the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is principal of Morphosis an architectural firm in Santa Monica, California. Mayne received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in March 2005.

Morphosis’s design philosophy arises from an interest in producing work with a meaning that can be understood by absorbing the culture for which it was made.

Morphosis has grown into prominent design practice, with completed projects worldwide. Under the Design Excellence program of the United States government's General Service Administration, Thom Mayne has become a primary architect for federal projects. Recent commissions include: graduate housing at the University of Toronto; the San Francisco Federal Building; the University of Cincinnati Student Recreation Center; the Science Center School in Los Angeles, Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California; and the Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse inEugene, Oregon.



Patriarch Plaza, São Paulo (2002)
Paulo Mendes da Rocha (born October 25, 1928 in Vitória) is a Brazilian architect, honored with the Mies van der Rohe Prize (2000) and the Pritzker Prize(2006). Paulo attended the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie College of Architecture, graduating in 1954. Working almost exclusively in Brazil, Mendes da Rocha has been producing buildings since 1957, many of them built in concrete, a method some call "Brazilian Brutalism" arguably allowing buildings to be constructed cheaply and quickly. He has contributed many notable cultural buildings to São Paulo and is widely credited as enhancing and revitalizing the city.



Madrid-Barajas Airport terminal 4
Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside CH Kt FRIBA FCSD (born 23 July 1933) is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs.

Rogers is perhaps best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd's building and Millennium Dome both in London, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg. He is a winner of the RIBA Gold Medal, the Thomas Jefferson Medal, the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Minerva Medal and Pritzker Prize.

Rogers has continued to create controversial and iconic works. Perhaps the most famous of these, the Millennium Dome, was designed by the Rogers practice in conjunction with engineering firm Buro Happold and completed in 1999. It was the subject of fierce political and public debate over the cost and contents of the exhibition it contained, although the building itself cost only £43 million.



Torre Aigües de Barcelona (Agbar), Barcelona
Jean Nouvel (born August 12, 1945) is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture. He has obtained a number of prestigious distinctions over the course of his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (technically, the prize was awarded for the Institut du Monde Arabe which Nouvel designed), the Wolf Prize in Arts in 2005 and the Pritzker Prize in 2008. A number of museums and architectural centres have presented retrospectives of his work.

Nouvel was awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honour, in 2008, for his work on more than 200 projects, among them, in the words of The New York Times, the "exotically louvered" Arab World Institute, the bullet-shaped and "candy-colored" Torre Agbar in Barcelona, the "muscular" Guthrie Theater with its cantilevered bridge in Minneapolis, and in Paris, the "defiant, mysterious and wildly eccentric" Musée du quai Branly (2006) and the Philharmonie de Paris (a "trip into the unknown" c. 2012).



Thermal Baths at Vals, Switzerland
Peter Zumthor (born 26 April 1943) is a Swiss architect and winner of the 2009 Pritzker Prize.
Zumthor founded his own firm in 1979. His practice grew quickly and he accepted more international projects.

His best known projects are the Kunsthaus Bregenz (1997), a shimmering glass and concrete cube that overlooks Lake Constance (Bodensee) in Austria; the cave-like thermal baths in Vals, Switzerland (1999); the Swiss Pavilion for Expo 2000 in Hannover, an all-timber structure intended to be recycled after the event; the Kolumba (2007), in Cologne; and the Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, on a farm near Wachendorf.

In 1998, Zumthor received the Carlsberg Architecture Prize for his designs of the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Bregenz, Austria and the Thermal Baths at Vals, Switzerland. He won the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture in 1999. Recently, he was awarded Praemium Imperiale in (2008) and the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2009)

Zumthor says,“To me, buildings can have a beautiful silence that I associate with attributes such as composure, self-evidence, durability, presence, and integrity, and with warmth and sensuousness as well; a building that is being itself, being a building, not representing anything, just being. ...”



Christian Dior building, Omotesandō
SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates) is an architectural firm. It was founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. In 2010, Sejima and Nishizawa were awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honor.

In 1995, Kazuyo Sejima (born in 1956) and Ryue Nishizawa (born in 1966) founded SANAA. Examples of their, groundbreaking work include, among others, the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Toledo Museum of Art's Glass Pavilion in Toledo, Ohio; the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, NY: the Serpentine Pavilion in London; the Christian Dior Building in Omotesando in Tokyo; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. The latter won the Golden Lion in 2004 for the most significant work in the Ninth International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

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Text and Image curtsey: Wikipedia

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नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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