Civic architect, urban planner and activist Sir David Alan Chipperfield is the winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2023, internationally regarded as architecture’s highest honour.
“I am delighted to receive this extraordinary honour and to be associated with previous awardees, all of whom are a great inspiration to the profession,” Chipperfield commented. “I take this award as an encouragement to continue to turn my attention not only to the substance of architecture and its meaning, but also to the contribution we can make as architects to address the existential challenges of climate change and social inequality. We know that, as architects, we can play a more important and committed role in creating not only a more beautiful world, but also a more equitable and sustainable one. We must take up this challenge and help inspire the next generation to embrace this responsibility with vision and courage”.
The Jury’s citation for the 2023 Prize reads, in part, “This commitment to an architecture of sober yet transformative civic presence and to the redefinition of public space is always done with austerity, avoiding superfluous interventions and staying away from fashions and trends, a message that is as relevant as ever for our contemporary society. This ability to distil and carry out thoughtful design operations is a dimension of sustainability that has not been evident in recent years: sustainability as pertinence, not only eliminates the superfluous, but is also the first step towards creating structures capable of lasting, physically and culturally“.
Subtle yet powerful, restrained yet elegant, Chipperfield is a prolific architect who is radical in his restraint, demonstrating his reverence for history and culture while honouring pre-existing built and natural environments, as he reimagines the functionality and accessibility of new buildings, renovations and restorations through timeless, modern design that addresses climatic urgencies, transforms social relationships and reinvigorates cities.
His works, spanning over forty years, are broad in type and geography and include more than one hundred works ranging from civic, cultural and academic buildings to residences and urban plans throughout Asia, Europe and North America.
Tom Pritzker, President of the Hyatt Foundation, commented: “Although his works are elegantly masterful, he measures the results of his projects by social and environmental well-being, to improve the quality of life for all civilization”.
The Neues Museum (Berlin, Germany, 2009), originally built in the mid-19th century and left devastated and uninhabitable during World War II, demonstrates Chipperfield’s discernment between preservation, reconstruction and addition.
His restoration and reinvention of the 16th century Procuratie Vecchie (Venice, Italy, 2022) redefined the civic function of this building in the heart of the city, allowing public access for the first time. The restored building now allows views from above and within, revealing roof terraces, exhibition and event spaces, an auditorium and a row of arches that diverge into galleries.
Alejandro Aravena, president of the jury and winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize, explains: “In a world where many architects see a commission as an opportunity to enrich their portfolio, he responds to each project with specific tools that he has selected with precision and great care. Sometimes it requires a strong and monumental gesture, while at other times it requires him to almost disappear. But his buildings will always stand the test of time, because the ultimate goal of his activity is to serve a greater good”.
Each work becomes a civic enterprise in the service of society, such as the America’s Cup building ‘Veles e Vents’ (Valencia, Spain, 2006), intended primarily as a temporary accommodation for offshore teams and sponsors.
The Amorepacific building (Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2017) harmonises the individual and the collective, the private and the public, work and rest.
Significant works include the River and Rowing Museum (Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom, 1997), the BBC Scotland headquarters (Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2007), Turner Contemporary (Margate, United Kingdom, 2011), Campus Saint Louis Art Museum (Missouri, United States of America, 2013), Campus Joachimstraße (Berlin, Germany, 2013), Museo Jumex (Mexico City, Mexico, 2013), One Pancras Square (London, UK, 2013), Royal Academy of Arts masterplan (London, UK, 2018), Hoxton Press (London, UK, 2018) and Kunsthaus Zürich (Zurich, Switzerland, 2020).
Chipperfield is the 52nd winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, resides in London and heads other offices in Berlin, Milan, Shanghai and Santiago de Compostela. The ceremony for the Pritzker Prize 2023 will be held in Athens, Greece, next May.
For more information visit www.pritzkerprize.com.
© The Hyatt Foundation / The Pritzker Architecture Prize
Cover: Sir David Alan Chipperfield, photo courtesy of Tom Welsh
Photo 1: James-Simon-Galerie, photo courtesy of Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects
Photo 2: Procuratie Vecchie, photo courtesy of Alberto Parise
Photo3: Procuratie Vecchie, photo courtesy of Alessandra Chemollo
Photo 4: America’s Cup Building ‘Veles e Vents,’ photo courtesy of Christian Richters
Photo 5: The Hepworth Wakefield, photo courtesy of Iwan Baan
Photo 6, 7: Amorepacific Headquarters, photo courtesy of Noshe
Photo 8: River and Rowing Museum, photo courtesy of Richard Bryant / Arcaid
Photo 9: BBC Scotland Headquarters, photo courtesy of Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects