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David Chipperfield receives Pritzker Architecture Prize 2023

Civic architect, urban planner and activist, Sir David Alan Chipperfield CH has been selected as the 2023 Laureate of The Pritzker Architecture Prize, the award that is regarded internationally as architecture's highest honor.

His built works, spanning over four decades, are expansive in typology and geography, including over one hundred works ranging from civic, cultural and academic buildings to residences and urban masterplanning throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

Chipperfield calculates the environmental and historical impacts of permanence, embracing the preexisting, designing and intervening in dialogue with time and place to adopt and refresh the architectural language of each locale. James-Simon-Galerie (Berlin, Germany, 2018) situated on a narrow island along the Kupfergraben canal and accessible by the Schlossbrücke bridge, serves as the gateway to Museum Island. Commanding, though discreet, colonnades with grand scale enclose a terrace, a wide expansive staircase and a manifold of open spaces allow abundant light into the large entryway of the building. The design enables generous views from within and beyond, even through to adjacent buildings and the surrounding urban landscape.

The Neues Museum (Berlin, Germany, 2009), originally constructed in the mid-19th century and left devastated and inhabitable during World War II, demonstrates Chipperfield's discernment between preservation, reconstruction and addition. The novel is in conversation with the old, as architecture of the past is brought to the foreground, yielding moments of modernity such as a striking new main stairwell flanked by walls revealing traces of original frescoes and repurposed materials, even those that were marred by wartime blemishes. Generous outdoor space makes it a connector for all, even for those who never enter the galleries.

His restoration and reinvention of the Procuratie Vecchie (Venice, Italy, 2022), which dates back to the 16th century, redefined the civic ability of this building within the heart of the city to allow general access for the first time. He elevates partnership through his processes, upholding his belief that architecture and craft are intertwined. He called upon traditional craftsmen to revive original frescoes, terrazzo and pastellone flooring and plasterworks, uncovering layers of history, while incorporating local artisan and building techniques to produce modern correlative interventions such as a vertical circulation. The restored building now enables views from above and within, revealing rooftop terraces, exhibition and event spaces, an auditorium and an enfilade of arches that diverge into galleries.

Every work becomes a civic undertaking serving society, such as the America's Cup Building 'Veles e Vents' (Valencia, Spain, 2006), intended primarily as a temporary hospitality venue for offshore teams and sponsors. Exterior space exceeds interior and the cantilevered viewing decks are miradors, generous in size, some spanning 15 meters in width around the perimeter of each overlapping level. Chipperfield infuses a program for the public, through first-floor retail spaces and an accessible deck that offers unrestricted views of the canal and city below. A ramp from this level creates a direct pathway to a park just north of the site. His restoration and addition of Morland Mixité Capitale (Paris, France, 2022) revitalizes the neighborhood with affordable and luxury housing, retail and restaurant venues, a hotel and youth hostel, an installation space and an urban rooftop garden. By raising the new volumes on vaulted load-bearing arcades which continue along at the base of the original building, the architect creates a space to gather, inviting those to pass by or pass through the new visual and physical passageway to the Seine River from the Boulevard Morland.

Whether through public or private buildings, he bestows unto society the opportunity for coexistence and communion, protecting individuality while fostering a societal sense of belonging. The headquarters for Amorepacific (Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2017) harmonize the individual and the collective, the private and the public, work and respite. Vertical aluminum fins across the glass façade provide solar shading to aid thermal conditions and natural ventilation, and create a translucency, encouraging a rapport between the building’s occupants, its neighbors and observers. Office space is equipoised by a public atrium, museum, library, auditorium and restaurants. A central courtyard allows views through to nearby buildings and hanging gardens further engage the community inside with the elements outside. At the Inagawa Cemetery Chapel and Visitor Center (Hyogo, Japan, 2017), situated in the Hokusetsu Mountains, the physical and spiritual coexist, with places of solitude and gathering, for peace and seeking. These interconnected expressions are mirrored in the earth-toned monolithic buildings, stairs and pathways residing amidst the sloped terrain, and the secluded non-denominational chapel and visitor center that are juxtaposed diagonal from one another.

Significant works also include the River and Rowing Museum (Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom, 1997), 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, United Kingdom, 2013), Royal Academy of Arts masterplan (London, United Kingdom, 2018), Hoxton Press (London, United Kingdom, 2018) and Kunsthaus Zürich (Zurich, Switzerland, 2020).

Chipperfield is the 52nd Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. He resides in London and leads additional offices in Berlin, Milan, Shanghai and Santiago de Compostela. The 2023 Pritzker Prize ceremony will be held in Athens, Greece this May.

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