SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa Win Pritzker Prize

Party at the New Museum! True to our prediction of last week, SANAA partners Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have been chosen as the 2010 winners of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, bestowed annually upon a living architect (and sometimes two of them). The jury praised them for “architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but overly or overtly clever” and highlighted their work in the United States—the glass pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art and the New Museum in New York City—as well as the Ogasawara Museum in Nagano, Japan and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. Sejima and Nishizawa will receive their bronze medallions and $100,000 in small, unmarked bills on May 17 at a ceremony on New York’s Ellis Island.

In announcing the jury’s choice yesterday, Hyatt Foundation chairman Thomas Pritzker appeased fans of ESPN-style statistics. “This marks the third time in the history of the prize that two architects have been named in the same year,” said Pritzker, referring to the two-for-one wins of Oscar Niemeyer and Gordon Bunshaft in 1988 and Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in 2001. “Japanese architects have been chosen three times in the thirty-year history of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.” Sejima and Nishizawa join past winners Kenzo Tange (1987), Fumihiko Maki (1993), and Tadao Ando (1995).