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SANAA wins 2010 Pritzker Prize

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Japanese firm SANAA has landed the Pritzker Prize, joining the exclusive ranks of architects recognised by the ‘Nobel Prize’ of architecture

Practice founders Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa will take the prestigious honour at an award ceremony next month on Ellis Island, New York. They will also receive a bronze medal and $100,000.

The jury said of SANAA: ‘They explore like few others the phenomenal properties of continuous space, lightness, transparency and materiality to create a subtle synthesis.

‘Sejima and Nishizawa’s architecture stands in direct contrast with the bombastic and rhetorical. Instead, they seek the essential qualities of architecture that result in a much appreciated straightforwardness, economy of means and restraint in their work.’

The practice designed the 2009 Serpentine Pavilion, the Rolex Learning Centre in Switzerland and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art at Kanazawa in Japan.

Jay A Pritzker founded the award in 1979, which is today considered the architecture world’s equivalent to the Nobel prize.

Previous winners include: Robert Venturi for the National Gallery extension in London, Jørn Utzon for the Sydney Opera House and Richard Rogers for Lloyds’ building in The City.

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