The Pritzker Architecture Prize

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The Pritzker Architecture Prize recognises a living architect or architects whose built work exemplifies a blend of talent, vision, and dedication that has resulted in significant and coherent contributions to humanity and the built environment through the practice of architecture.

The Pritzker family of Chicago created the international prise, which is given each year to a living architect for significant achievement, through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979. It is known as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honour,” It is given out once a year.

The award includes a bronze medallion and a cash prize of $100,000 (US). The laureate/s receive the award at a ceremony held at a historically significant site around the world.


A meaningful award, Jay and Cindy Pritzker thought, would promote and foster a greater public awareness of buildings and greater creativity within the architectural profession.

A photograph taken on March 16 in Bordeaux, shows a view of the…

A photograph taken on March 16 in Bordeaux, shows a view of the social housing complex “Grand Parc” built in the 1960s and which 530 dwellings were rehabilitated between 2014 and 2017 by the Lacaton… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

The Pritzker Prize is named after the Pritzker family, which is based in Chicago and has international business interests. Hyatt Hotels can be found all over the country, and its name is synonymous with them. The Pritzkers have a long history of promoting educational, technological, medical, and cultural endeavours. The award was initiated by Jay A. Pritzker (1922-1999) and his wife, Cindy. “As native Chicagoans, it’s not surprising that our family was keenly aware of architecture, living in the birthplace of the skyscraper, a city filled with buildings designed by architectural legends such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and many others,” says Tom Pritzker, Chairman and President of Hyatt Foundation.

Many of the Pritzker Prize’s policies and awards are modelled after the Nobel Prize. The Pritzker Architecture Award winner receives a $100,000 award, a formal citation certificate, and a bronze medallion since 1987. Each Laureate received a limited edition Henry Moore sculpture before that year.


The award is presented at an official ceremony every year, usually in May, at a historically significant site worldwide. The ceremony’s location emphasises the value of the built environment while also providing a unique setting for the event. Each year, the award ceremonies travel worldwide, paying tribute to past eras of architecture and/or works by previous prize laureates. There is no intended relationship between the two because the ceremony locations are traditionally chosen each year before the laureate is chosen.

International visitors and guests from the host country are invited to the invitation-only event. The ceremony usually begins with remarks from a dignitary from the host country, followed by remarks from the jury chairman, Tom Pritzker’s presentation of the award, and the Laureate’s acceptance speech.

Due to the constraints associated with the Covid-19 global pandemic, a special video was produced instead of an in-person ceremony in 2020. The international organisation invited an unlimited number of people to watch the Laureates being honoured because of this one-of-a-kind chance.

The laureate will be awarded $100,000 as well as a bronze medallion. The bronze medallions given to each Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate are based on Louis Sullivan’s designs, the famed Chicago architect known as the “Father of the Skyscraper.” The name of the award is on one side. Three words are engraved on the reverse: “firmness, commodity, and pleasure,” a reference to Roman architect Vitruvius’ basic architectural principles of firmitas, utilitas, and venustas.


Purpose. About the Prize | The Pritzker Architecture Prize. (0AD).

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