David Chipperfield is a world-renowned British architect who has been awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2023. He is well-known for his modern designs and use of materials. David Chipperfield was born in England. He studied architecture at Kingston University and then at London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture. He worked for numerous renowned architects after graduating, including Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, and James Stirling, before establishing his own office in 1985. The Neues Museum in Berlin, the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, and the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in West Yorkshire is one of David Chipperfield’s most famous works. His office has also created a variety of private residences throughout Europe, in addition to commercial projects such as office buildings and hotels. Also, he is the 52nd winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

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Pritzker Prize Winner-David Chipperfield_©Adrian Capelo

Early Life & Career 

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Pritzker Prize Winner-David Chipperfield_©David Chipperfield

David Chipperfield, full name Sir David Alan Chipperfield, was born in London, England on December 18, 1953. He grew up on a farm in southwestern England, where he dreamt about becoming a veterinarian. His earliest strong physical impression of architecture was formed by a collection of barns and outbuildings filled with childhood wonderment and recollection. Chipperfield graduated from Kingston School of Art in London in 1976. He received his diploma in architecture from the Architectural Association in London in 1980.

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Pritzker Prize Winner-River and Rowing Museum _©Richard Bryant / Arcaid

After his graduation, before founding David Chipperfield Architects in 1985, he worked under Douglas Stephen, Norman Foster, 1999 Pritzker Prize Laureate, and the late Richard Rogers, 2007 Pritzker Prize Laureate. Several of his early commissions were from Japan, where he developed a respect for the prosaic features of daily living, a concept that influenced his work profoundly. Today, the office has five spots: London, Berlin, Milan, Shanghai, and Santiago de Compostela, each of which is entrenched in its local setting but is unified globally by shared architectural objectives. Over four decades, he has created over a hundred works that range from civic, cultural, and academic buildings to residences and urban master planning across Asia, Europe, and North America.

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Pritzker Prize Winner0America’s Cup Building _©Christian Richters

Chipperfield’s architectural work has been described as “serious, solid, not flamboyant or unconventional, but comfortable with the history and culture of its location”. Even though his work does not adhere to a specific style, his structures can be understood as an attempt to respect the culture of its location while also pushing the boundaries and creating something new – familiar yet different. He has also acknowledged that architecture cannot be globalized because it must necessarily differ according to the culture of each place.

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Pritzker Prize Winner-Neues Museum _©David Chipperfield Architects
Neues Museum _©Joerg von Bruchhausen
Neues Museum _© SMB / Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects

Throughout his career, David Chipperfield designed numerous notable buildings. Even though, it is not possible to list all some of them are, The River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire in 1999; Ernsting Service Centre in Coesfeld-Lette, Germany in 2002; America’s Cup Building in Valencia, Spain in 2007; the reconstructed Neues Museum, which was the culmination of a mammoth 12-year project; and the Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery in West Yorkshire in 2012. Chipperfield designed furniture, lighting, tableware, and other things in addition to his building designs.

Also, Chipperfield was the curator of the 13th Biennale Architettura in 2012, proposing the theme Common Ground; a Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative architectural mentor in 2016-2017; and a guest editor for Domus in 2020. Chipperfield has taught and lectured at several universities across the world in addition to his architectural practice. From 1995 to 2001, he was a Professor of Architecture at the Staatliche Akademie für Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, and in 2011, he was Norman R. Foster’s Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University.

Pritzker Prize & Other Awards

David Chipperfield has received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in England in 2011, the European Union Prize for Modern Architecture—the Mies van der Rohe Award in Spain in 2011, and the Heinrich Tessenow Medal in Germany in 1999. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2008, received the Federal Republic of Germany’s Order of Merit in 2009, and the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale for Architecture in 2013. He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the Bund Deutscher Architekten. Additionally, he was appointed as Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004, knighted in 2010, and appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour in 2021.

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David Chipperfield _©Tom Welsh

The Pritzker Prize was founded in 1979 by the late Jay A. Pritzker and his wife, Cindy, to honor a living architect whose work has made continuous and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. This May, the 2023 Pritzker Prize ceremony will be held in Athens, Greece. David Alan Chipperfield was given the Pritzker Architecture Prize this year, the highest distinction in the field. He believes that architecture is more important than architects and we are confronted with two grave crises which are, social injustice and climatic breakdown. These are some of the reasons why the Pritzker Foundation chose Chipperfield as its 2023 laureate. “He has in every case skillfully chosen the tools that are instrumental to the project instead of those that might only celebrate the architect as an artist.” the jury said in its citation.  

Reference List:

  1. davidchipperfield.com. (n.d.). David Chipperfield Architects. [online] Available at: https://davidchipperfield.com/.
  2. www.pritzkerprize.com. (n.d.). Sir David Alan Chipperfield CH | The Pritzker Architecture Prize. [online] Available at: https://www.pritzkerprize.com/laureates/sir-david-alan-chipperfield-ch#laureate-page-2521 [Accessed 17 Mar. 2023].
  3. www.britannica.com. (n.d.). David Chipperfield | Biography, Architecture, Buildings, & Facts | Britannica. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/David-Chipperfield.
  4. Pogrebin, R. (2023). David Chipperfield Wins Pritzker Prize. The New York Times. [online] 7 Mar. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/07/arts/design/david-chipperfield-pritzker-prize-architecture.html.
  5. My Architectural Guide. (2019). David Chipperfield. [online] Available at: https://myarchitecturalguide.wordpress.com/david-chipperfield/ [Accessed 17 Mar. 2023].

İnci is an architect who is passionate about interdisciplinary discussion in the field of architecture.In her point of view architecture is not only about aesthetics and art but is an understanding and constant thinking of creating space for living thing.She loves to research,read,learn and write about different perspectives of architecture.