Washington (EFE).- David Chipperfield, creator of a thoughtful, serene and precise architecture that resists the passage of time and that balance prevails over exaggeration, has won the 2023 Pritzker Prize today, as announced today by the award jury.
The British architect has declared himself “overwhelmed” upon learning of the award decision, which had resisted him for years.
“As architects we can play a more prominent and committed role in creating not only a more beautiful world but also a fairer and more sustainable one,” he said. We must rise to this challenge and help the next generation to accept this responsibility with vision and courage.”
Chipperfield (London, 1953) has signed more than one hundred projects over more than four decades, including interventions in public buildings such as the Neues Museum in Berlin, the Royal Academy of Arts or the Venice Procurator’s Offices (Procuratie Vechie). .
His studio has offices in London, Berlin, Shanghai, Milan and Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, northern Spain).
The Englishman, trained with Richard Rogers and Norman Foster in his youth, has a very special relationship with the Spanish region of Galicia, his second home, where he has spent the summer for three decades. The architect and his family have a house in the Galician town of Corrubedo.
There he founded RIA in 2017, a forum for debate, development and promotion of ideas to support the development and protection of the landscape and the local economy in the area, and has carried out collaborations with local firms such as Sargadelos.
The Pritzker Prize, considered the world’s highest recognition of architecture, joins other awards: the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the Mies van der Rohe Award -both in 2011- and the Heinrich Tessenow Medal (1999).
No two Chipperfields are the same
“Subtle but powerful, moderate but elegant, he is a prolific architect who is radical in his moderation, demonstrating his reverence for history and culture,” says the jury’s decision, to which EFE has had access.
No two David Chipperfield buildings are the same, but rather different buildings designed specifically for each circumstance, the ruling defends.
Faced with the extravagance that has marked architecture in recent decades, the English architect opts for a timeless modernity, marked by elegance, which means that many of his buildings go completely unnoticed and cannot be spoken of as a hallmark of his construction site.
“Designing is not inventing colors and shapes. It is about developing a series of questions and ideas that have a certain rigor and consequence, says Chipperfield. And if you can do that, it doesn’t matter which way you go, as long as you do it right and have been consistent in the process.”
The new Pritzker Prize marks the path taken by the award jury for years, which is committed to architecture at the service of citizens and cities, more austere and less spectacular.
“Your buildings will always stand the test of time because the ultimate goal of your operation is to serve the greater good. Avoiding what is fashionable has allowed it to endure”, says Alejandro Aravena, president of the jury and also a Pritzker winner.
Coexistence versus leadership
Critics have said of Chipperfield that his buildings don’t scream, they speak. The English architect believes that the role of the architect is to promote new ways of improving life and livelihoods on a planet where humanity has made its home “a place of fragility”.
His ‘modus operandi’ is especially appreciated in the museums he has designed, a type of building for which he has an eye and which challenge the idea that it is a place for elite culture.
Chipperfield undoes the fashion of creating “a showcase for art” -which has underpinned the gentrification of many modern cities- and is committed to spaces that break borders and invite the public to participate.
His most notable interventions can be found in museums such as the Neues Museum and the James Simon Gallery (Berlin), and new buildings such as the Saint Louis Art Museum (Missouri) and the German Museums of Modern Literature and Folkwang.
“As an architect, I am in a way the guardian of meaning, memory and heritage,” says Chipperfield. And it is that where other architects see the opportunity to add a star project to their portfolio, he sees an opportunity to serve a greater good.
The 2023 Pritzker Prize will be awarded in Athens in May, where the architect’s studio has won the restoration of the city’s National Archaeological Museum.