Thom Mayne wins the Pritzker Prize

61 year old Californian architect Thom Mayne is the winner of the Pritzker Prize. He is the first American to receive the most prestigious and valuable (100,000 dollar) world prize for architecture. A rather surprising nomination for everyone that was unexpected even for the interested party who on receiving the news commented “You put your mind to it, and stay with it for 30 years, and you're just getting started... And – who knows – you might just get recognised by an award jury and become an international star”.

An honour that has been bestowed on – amongst others - Philip Johnson, James Stirling, I. M. Pei, Kenzo Tange (who died just a few days ago), Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid.

The founder of Morphosis may be less famous at an international level than the long list of previous winners but his talent has never been doubted by critics from around the world. His better known works include the Diamond Ranch school in California (2000) and the Caltrans, a large research and education centre opened in Los Angeles last year.

The jury summed up the reasons for their choice; “Thom Mayne is a product of the turbulent 1960s who has carried that rebellious attitude and fervent desire for change into his practice, the fruits of which are only now becoming visible”. E.S.

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