Through this, today we will look for those few who might have missed a shot at the Pritzker prize but with their iconic ability influenced cities, people, and architecture as a whole.
In the end, it is just a prize, can a legacy be cemented by only rewards and honor when our masterpiece lives to tell our stories, long after we have perished. Pritzker prize which is the most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon an architect, can only be given to a selected few not everyone could have it and those who have can’t be questioned for their credibility because of what they have contributed to this community over a lifetime through different eras. We know of great architects even before the inception of Prizker and we all are well aware of their influence over architecture and design all across the globe. Thus, it is a never-ending battle between ability and recognition.
Through this, today we will look for those few who might have missed a shot at the prize but with their iconic ability influenced cities, people, and architecture as a whole.
- Denise Scott Brown – Starting with the controversial argument that was put forward after many years by not just the architect but the whole community, when Denise Scott brown an architect, planner, writer and the partner of Pritzker prize winner(1991) Robert venturi demanded that the honor should be shared among the couple. As she was the principal designer behind many post-modernist marvels for which she was not recognized, it was the only case when a judgment of the jury was challenged. She has been a role model for women in this field that is very much dominated by men and has stood against prejudice.
- Sir Terry Farrell – He is one of the most influential architects from Britain with a history and experience of over 50 years in architectural practice all around the globe. He was at the forefront of the postmodernism movement in Britain and Europe with iconic structures such as MI6 in London. At the age of 82, he has been a recipient of many honors including knighthood but might still have a bit of closet space left to put the biggest prize of this profession.
- Moshe Safdie – He is the architect who gets to live the dream of every architecture student i.e. to have their thesis project be a reality. His project habitat 69 which was also his thesis project is one of the most famous and controversial housing projects due to its iconic shape and concept. His recent work all around the world has been very influential to the contemporary needs of sustainable architecture with aesthetic wonders. The Pritzker prize could be the perfect way to honor his vision.
- Tom Wright – Pritzker prize winner is known to have designed well-renowned structures that are influential to a whole generation. Tom Wright did the same throughout his career and designed buildings that are considered landmarks for the cities and influence people all around the world. Most famously known to design the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai which became an icon for the city and became one of the most recognizable structures in the world putting Tom Wright on the map as a leading architect.
- Charles Correa – When B.V. Doshi won the prize in 2018, it seemed like a gateway for more Indian architects to get the same recognition as he did but also questioned about those with whom it could have begun. Charles Correa was the pioneer architect who influenced the modernist movement of India in the post-independence era. He understood the urban context of India like no other and helped in transforming cities into better liveable spaces. His understanding and knowledge of local techniques and materials were exemplary and would have been a perfect choice for the prize.
- Steven Holl – He is a globally recognized architect based in the USA with another office in Beijing. He has designed throughout the world and become a leading name in sustainable architecture. Many of his buildings incorporate green initiative and have received high grades in LEED standards. His understanding of the history and context of the site and how to induct that into structures is phenomenal. Thus, it turns buildings into landmarks. His work and experience are a perfect fit for the Pritzker Prize.
- Jeanne Gang – She is the principal architect of her Architecture firm Studio Gang based in the USA. She has been one of the few female architects who are making it big by making big skyscrapers which is very non-conventional of this profession. She gave the term “Actionable Idealism” which focuses on the ecological biodiversity in cities and how to improve it. She also concerns and raises the importance of healthy spaces that affect human lives directly, increase in vertical connection, and individual identity of cities. Her ideology is as distinguishable as a Pritzker prize laureate.
- Santiago Calatrava – He is a swiss-/Spanish architect with proficiency in structural engineering, painting, and sculpting. Many of the concepts behind his structures come from his sculptures and artwork. He is considered one of the best when it comes to bridges and transits design. His experience in both the context of dense urban situations of New York or rarer towns in Spain is exceptional. He is famous for not just his structure but controversial design philosophy but what Prize is without such exceptions.
- Robert A.M. Stern – Many of the previous laureates were great educators and influenced many with designs and knowledge. Robert Stern is an American architect and educator who had been the dean of Yale Architecture School for almost 2 decades. Along with that he also runs his architecture firm called RAMSA which has experience in various topologies throughout the world. Some of his famous works include the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and residential colleges at Yale University.
- César Pelli – He was an Argentinian architect based in the USA. He has designed some of the most famous and widely recognized buildings in the world. He had been named one of the ten most influential architects in the US by AIA in 1991. Some of his major works include the Petronas tower in Kuala Lumpur and the World Financial Centre in New York. He was also an educator and served as the dean of Yale Architecture school previously of Robert Stern. His wife was a landscape architect and had a great influence on him. He died last year in 2019 at the age of 92. This goes on to prove that some honors remain due even after you are gone.
Honors, awards, and prizes are just ways created by us humans to celebrate and commemorate those before us who influenced not just the era, they lived in but the future generations to come. So, when they look through history they could learn and remember those who excelled in their field. For some in the list, the opportunity for this prize has ended but is still acknowledged for what they have left but for many, the opportunity couldn’t be better. You might hear someone from this list winner next or in the coming years. For that, you just have to look out so you don’t miss it.