Hans Hollein, an Austrian architect whose work is acclaimed around the world, was today named the 1985 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. He is the seventh architect to be so honored, and the third from outside the United States.
Consisting of a $100,000 tax-free grant and a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, the international Pritzker Architecture Prize was established in 1979 to reward a creative endeavor not honored by the Nobel Prizes.
Jay A. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation that sponsors the prize, presented the check to Hollein today at the Museum of Modern Art. The sculpture will be presented in a formal ceremony at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California on May 10.
The distinguished international panel of jurors that made the selection this year consists of J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., who served as chairman; Giovanni Agnelli, chairman of Fiat in Torino, Italy; J. Irwin Miller, chairman, executive and finance committees of the Curnmins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana; Thomas J. Watson, chairman emeritus of IBM Corporation; and three architects, Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico City; Fumihiko Maki of Tokyo; and 1982 Pritzker Prize Laureate, Kevin Roche of Hamden, Connecticut.
In making the presentation, Pritzker quoted from the jury's citation which describes Hollein as "an architect who is also an artist… one who with wit and eclectic gusto draws upon the traditions of the New World as readily as upon those of the Old, " and further, saluting him "as a superb teacher, who urges the young by his example to take big chances, and yet making sure that the designed remains of paramount importance, not the designer.
Brendan Gill, noted author and journalist who is secretary to the jury, in announcing the Laureate, praised Hollein as "that comparatively rare thing in contemporary architecture, an artist-architect, combining great technical prowess with a gift for astonishing the ' eye. His buildings, like his drawings, have a playful seductiveness. One is happy in their presence."
Hollein, who is 51, recently won international competitions to design the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, and the Cultural Forum in Berlin. One of his most famous commissions is the Municipal Museum Abteiberg at Monchengladbach, near Dusseldorf, completed in 1982.
His first commission in 1965 was the small Retti Candleshop in Vienna, which gained him worldwide recognition. He has since done a number of stores, including two Schullin Jewelry Shops in Vienna, and a Beck Department store branch in Trump Tower in New York. Another example of his work in New York is the Richard L. Feigen Gallery completed in 1969. He currently has projects in development for an apartment house in Berlin, a social housing project in Vienna, and office buildings.
Although his architecture is relatively rare in the United States, he received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1960, and had previously studied with Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin. He credits a Harkness Fellowship, which he won in 1956, with making it possible to travel to this country following his graduation from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.
He is a frequent visiting professor at Yale University in New Haven and Washington University in St. Louis. He is an active teacher in his own country as well, being a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Dusseldorf, and head of the Institute of Design, Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna.
In addition to his architectural accomplishments, he is a designer of not only furniture and products, but of exhibitions. One of the latter has just opened to critical praise in Vienna, titled "Dream and Reality,' an exhibit of Viennese cultural history. He has many other exhibition design credits, including one, for the opening of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York.
Art works by Hollein are in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Foundacion Miro, Barcelona; the Municipal Museum, Monchengladbach; and the Padiglione dlArte Contemporanes, Milan; as well as many private collections.
Hollein's numerous other awards include two Reynolds Memorial Awards in the U.S., the City of Vienna's Architecture Prize, the German Architecture Award, and the Austrian State Award for Environmental Design.