Sir David Alan Chipperfield CH has won the 2023 Pritzker Architecture Prize. He is best known as a civic architect, urban planner, and activist. Chipperfield CH was selected as the 2023 Laureate of The Pritzker Architecture Prize. This award is regarded internationally as architecture’s highest honour.
Subtle yet powerful, subdued yet elegant, he is a prolific architect who is radical in his restraint, demonstrating his reverence for history and culture while honouring the preexisting built and natural environments as he reimagines functionality and accessibility of new buildings, renovations and restorations through timeless modern design that confronts climate urgencies, transforms social relationships and reinvigorates cities.
“I am so overwhelmed to receive this extraordinary honour and to be associated with the previous recipients who have all given so much inspiration to the profession,” remarks Chipperfield. “I take this award as an encouragement to continue to direct my attention not only to the substance of architecture and its meaning but also to the contribution that we can make as architects to address the existential challenges of climate change and societal inequality. We know that, as architects, we can have a more prominent and engaged role in creating a more beautiful world and a fairer and more sustainable one. We must rise to this challenge and help inspire the next generation to embrace this responsibility with vision and courage.”
Sir David Alan Chipperfield CH (b. 1953) was born in London and raised on a countryside farm in Devon, southwest England. A collection of barns and outbuildings, filled with childhood wonderment and recollection, shaped his first strong physical impression of architecture.
“I think good architecture provides a setting, it’s there, and it’s not there. Like all things with great meaning, they’re both foreground and background, and I’m not always so fascinated by the foreground. Architecture can intensify, support, and help our rituals and lives. The experiences I gravitate toward and enjoy most are when normal things have been made special instead of where everything is about the special.”
He graduated from the Kingston School of Art in 1976 and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London in 1980, where he learned to become a critic, reenvisioning the potential of each element to stretch every project beyond the task itself.
To honour a living architect or architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment, producing consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.
The international prize awarded each year to a living architect/s for significant achievement was established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979. It is granted annually and is often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honour.”
The award consists of $100,000 (US) and a bronze medallion. The award is conferred on the laureate/s at a worldwide ceremony held at an architecturally significant site.
Photo courtesy of David Chipperfield