Detail of a private residence built for Mario Masetti in Cabreuva, a small town northwest of São Paulo



FRONT PAGE
SiteSearch
About us
Directories


2006 Pritzker Prize
2005 Pritzker Prize
2004 Pritzker Prize
Brasilia, Capital of Brazil
City Halls
New Urbanism
Chicago's new Millennium Park
Nanjing architecture


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Americas | Europe | Asia | Africa


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


Brazilian architect wins
the 2006 Pritzker Prize

By Rodrigo M Queiroga, South America Correspondent

10 April 2006: Paulo Mendes da Rocha has been chosen as the 2006 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The 77-year old architect becomes the second laureate from Brazil, Oscar Niemeyer being the first, chosen in 1988. While few of his buildings were realized outside of Brazil, the lessons to be learned from his work, both as a practicing architect and a teacher, are universal.

2004 Pritzker Prize | 2005 Pritzker Prize |

In announcing the jury’s choice, Thomas J. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, said, “Mendes da Rocha has shown a deep understanding of space and scale through the great variety of buildings he has designed, from private residences, housing complexes, a church, museums and sports stadia to urban plans for public space.”

The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor will be held on 30 May 2006 in Istanbul, Turkey. At that time, a US$100,000 grant and a bronze medallion are bestowed.

The new laureate began his career in the 1950s and was part of what was then considered the avant-garde in São Paulo, known loosely as creators of the Paulist brutalist architecture — practitioners whose work, often using simple materials and forms, emphasized an ethical dimension of architecture. He is widely considered the most outstanding architect of Brazil. He has steadfastly devoted his career to the creation of buildings and spaces guided by a sense of responsibility toward the residents of his buildings and the broader society.

During a career that spans six decades, he has maintained his own practice, taught for many years at the University of São Paulo, and contributed to the professional community through his work as president of the Brazilian Institute for Architects. He has lectured extensively throughout South America and Europe. He has received many awards, but it was the Mies van der Rohe Prize for Latin American Architecture in 2000 that brought international recognition.

Pritzker Prize jury chairman, Lord Palumbo, commented, “Mendes da Rocha brings the joyful lilt of Brazil to his work...never afraid of innovation or of taking risks... indeed, a worthy choice.” Among his most widely known built works is the Brazilian Sculpture Museum, a non-traditional concept of a museum, nestled partly underground in a garden in São Paulo. He made bold use of a giant concrete beam on the exterior that traverses the site. His Forma Furniture Showroom in the same city is considered an icon of his approach to architecture. The front has a window that spans the length of the building, opening the building to the cityscape, a recurring theme of his work.

His renovation of São Paulo’s oldest Fine Arts Museum, the Pinacoteca do Estado, affirmed his understanding and respect for Brazil’s legacy — the basic structure of the 19th century building was simply restored with some striking new functional additions. Mendes da Rocha revitalized a square in the heart of São Paulo, called Patriarch Plaza, adding an enormous steel canopy that appears to float over the square. Internationally, he was a finalist in the competition for the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1972, and was the architect of Brazil’s Pavilion at Expo ‘70 in Osaka, Japan in 1970.

Currently, in Galicia in the northwest part of Spain, he is developing a master plan for the Technological City, part of the University of Vigo. His task is to integrate new buildings — library, engineering departments, student residences, administration offices — designed by several different Spanish architects into an overall landscape scheme that also fosters connections between buildings.

Martha Thorne, speaking as the executive director of the Pritzker Prize, quoting from the jury citation which states, “Inspired by the principles and language of modernism, he brings a renewed force to each of his projects through his bold use of simple materials and a deep understanding of the poetics of space.” Juror Carlos Jimenez from Houston who is professor of architecture at Rice University, said, “...he builds with exceptional economy to achieve an architecture of profound social engagement, an architecture that transcends the limits of construction to dazzle with poetic rigor and imagination.”

Balkrishna Doshi, Pritzker Juror from India, spoke of Mendes da Rocha’s work, “It is not impossible to create generous architecture even in situations with minimum resources and numerous constraints. What one needs is a largeness of vision and a desire to create something that people can touch, feel, and in which they can participate.” “For Mendes da Rocha, the meaning of architecture is not to create isolated buildings, but to respond to the eternal question of human habitation. His answers are at the same time classical and audacious: a new força geográfica for a new society,” is juror Rolf Fehlbaum’s comment.

Another juror, Victoria Newhouse, says, “The jury was deeply impressed by this practitioner’s ability to create powerful structures working within the technical limitations of his culture.” Juror Karen Stein commented, “As the translation of his surname — “of the rock”—- implies, he has steadfastly adhered to the experimental approach upon which he established his own architectural practice over half a century ago, consistently pushing the sculptural limits of structural form to surprising and often poetic effect.”

The purpose of the Pritzker Architecture Prize is to honor annually a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.

The prize presentation ceremony moves to different locations around the world each year, paying homage to historic and contemporary architecture. In 2005, the ceremony was held in Chicago at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry, in Millennium Park. The previous year, it was in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. In the years prior, ceremonies have been at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid, Spain; Michelangelo’s Campidoglio in Rome, Italy; Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia; as well as at the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.

The list of venues goes on to include not only a great many of the great museums in the United States, but also many other countries including France, England, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Japan. “This year, by going to Istanbul,” explains Hyatt Foundation president, Thomas Pritzker, “we hope to increase the awareness of architecture in a country that has historically been the crossroads of eastern and western cultures for many centuries.”

The field of architecture was chosen by the Pritzker family because of their keen interest in building due to their involvement with developing the Hyatt Hotels around the world; also because architecture was a creative endeavor not included in the Nobel Prizes. The procedures were modeled after the Nobels, with the final selection being made by the international jury with all deliberations and voting in secret. Nominations are continuous from year to year with hundreds of nominees from countries all around the world being considered each year.


Paulo Mendes da Rocha, winner of the 2006 Pritzker Prize


Previous Pritzker Prize winners
1979
Philip Johnson, USA
1980
Luis Barragán, Mexico
1981
James Stirling, UK
1982
Kevin Roche, USA
1983
Ieoh Ming Pei, USA
1984
Richard Meier, USA
1985
Hans Hollein, Austria
1986
Gottfried Böhm, Germany
1987
Kenzo Tange, Japan
1988
Gordon Bunshaft, USA and Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil
1989
Frank O. Gehry, USA
1990
Aldo Rossi, Italy
1991
Robert Venturi, USA
1992
Alvaro Siza, Portugal
1993
Fumihiko Maki, Japan
1994
Christian de Portzamparc, France
1995
Tadao Ando, Japan
1996
Rafael Moneo, Spain
1997
Sverre Fehn, Norway
1998
Renzo Piano, Italy
1999
Norman Foster, UK
2000
Rem Koolhaas, Netherlands
2001
Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Switzerland
2002
Glenn Murcutt. Australia
2003
Jørn Utzon. Denmark
2004
Zaha Hadid, UK
2005
Thom Mayne (USA)