British architect James Stirling was named as the winner of the third annual international Pritzker Architecture Prize at a press conference held at New York's Museum of Modern Art. In making the announcement, Jay A. Pritzker, president of the Hyatt Foundation, which administers and funds the prize, presented the 55-year-old Stirling with a check for $100,000. The second award element, a cast of a Henry Moore sculpture created especially for the purpose, will be presented at a Washington banquet next month.
Stirling, a Scottish-born architect whose work includes museums, educational institutions and private residences, was the 1980 recipient of the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, presented by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Among his current and upcoming projects are buildings for the Fogg Museum, Cambridge, and Columbia University, New York, as well as the new Turner Museum at London's Tate Gallery.
The first Pritzker Architecture Prize was presented in 1979 to Philip Johnson of the United States, and the second, in 1980, was awarded to Mexico's Luis Barragán. Stirling was chosen to receive the 1981 Prize by a distinguished international jury: J. Carter Brown, Director, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Lord Clark of Saltwood (Kenneth Clark), author and art historian; Arata Isozaki, architect and critic; Philip Johnson, architect and 1979 Pritzker Laureate; J. Irwin Miller, chairman, executive committee, Cumins Engine Company, and architecture patron; and Cesar Pelli, architect and Dean of the School of Architecture, Yale University.
In announcing the Prize, Mr. Pritzker quoted from a statement by 1979 Laureate Philip Johnson: "James Stirling has been the Wunderkind of modern architecture for some twenty years. Today he is a mature leader of world architecture.
"He is probably best known for a series of un built competitive projects culminating today in two great buildings actually under construction in Germany: a Museum in Stuttgart and a Scientific Institute in Berlin, and three in the United States.
"His work began at a time when the Modern Movement was still in ascendance and his variations, angles, details in the style were extraordinarily original. Today he is in the vanguard of the newer movement, which includes historic allusion and contextual consideration.
"1981 is James Stirling's year."