Architect David Chipperfield wins Pritzker Prize 2023

The British architect, who has designed over a hundred buildings around the world for a variety of purposes (museums, offices, housing, etc.), has been praised for his sustainable approach to serving the common good.


And the winner of the 2023 Pritzker Prize is: David Chipperfield (or for those more inclined to the label, Sir David Alan Chipperfield CH). The equivalent in architecture of the Nobel Prize in economics or literature, the Pritzker Architecture Prize was awarded by the Jury to this 69-year-old British designer known for his grandiose achievements, mixing heritage and modernity but also sustainability.


The Pritzker Prize jury praised the “discreet but profound civic presence” of his architecture “in the service of the common good” and its “always very timely sustainability“.


“We architects know that we can play a greater role in creating a more beautiful, but also more just and sustainable world. We must rise to this challenge and help inspire the next generation to accept this responsibility with courage and vision,” commented David Chipperfield, also referring to “the contributions” that architects can make “to address challenges posed by global warming and inequality.”


Few women


Created in 1979 by Jay Pritzker, the founder with his brother Robert, of the Hyatt hotels, the Pritzker Prize has rewarded the talents of many men of all nationalities (including the Chinese-American Pei, the Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, the American-Canadian Franck Gehry, the French Christian de Portzamparc, Jean Nouvel and Jean-Philippe Vassal, the Burkinabe Diébédo Francis Kéré… ) and only six women, and not before 2004 (Zaha Hadid, Kazuko Sejima, Carme Pigem, the Irish female duo Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell and Anne Lacaton)…


Zaha Hadid © Zaha Hadid Architects


Born in 1953 in Devon, England, David Chipperfield studied in London at the Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association, from which he graduated in architecture in 1977.


Since the creation of his own architectural practice in 1985, after an early career with Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, he has completed over 100 projects in Asia, North America, and Europe. He has offices in London, Berlin, Milan, Shanghai, and Santiago de Compostela (Spain).


Multiple achievements


Among his achievements, there are renovations as well as creations of museums or buildings, stores or individual houses…


In the museum field, these include the restoration of the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2018, or in 2021, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which dated from 1968.  In the same city, on Museum Island, he has designed the James Simon Gallery, a Unesco World Heritage Site, in 2019. This white colonnaded building is not only majestic: the choice of materials and manufacturing techniques gives it an eco-responsible profile, with reduced emissions of pollutants.


Neue Nationalgalerie © David Chipperfield Architects


David Chipperfield has also designed the headquarters of Amorepacific in Seoul and BBC Scotland in Glasgow.


On the sports side, he led the construction, in only eleven months, of America’s Cup building in Valencia (Spain) (2006), the venue for the famous sailing race for the first time in 150 years in Europe. And in his home country, he designed the River and Rowing Museum (1997), tracing the history of rowing and the Thames.


America’s Cup © David Chipperfield Architects


Finally, this architect capable of embracing all aspects of life has designed the Inagawa Cemetery Chapel in Hyogo, Japan (2017).


Inagawa Cemetery Chapel © David Chipperfield Architects


In his pipeline, currently being completed, we can still mention the redesign of the Procuratie Vecchie in Saint Mark’s Square in Venice, the new contemporary art wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the extension of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the future stadium for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan, residential towers in Germany, Belgium, China and the United States (New York). But also a first in Australia via a residential complex!



Featured photo : © David Chipperfield Architects

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