Aldo Rossi of Italy Elected 1990 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate
Aldo Rossi of Milan, Italy has been selected as the 1990 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. Twelve architects have been previously named over the past eleven years, six from the United States and six from other countries. Rossi is the seventh from the international community to receive the prestigious prize, acknowledged as the Nobel of architecture.
The prize, consisting of a $100,000 grant, a medallion and formal citation, will be presented by Jay A. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, in a formal ceremony on Saturday, June 16 at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Italy.
Rossi, who will celebrate his fifty-ninth birthday on May 3, received his architecture degree in 1959 at the Polytechnic University of Milan. In those three decades since, he has achieved international recognition not only as a practicing architect, but also as an artist and author of architectural theories and urban design concepts.
In recent years, he has completed a number of significant projects around the world, including the Toronto Lighthouse Theatre in Canada, the 11 Palazzo Hotel and Restaurant Complex in Japan, and in his native Italy commercial centers, various types of housing, theatres, museums, cemeteries, schools, and other public buildings. In the United States, he has completed two projects, one in Galveston, Texas, a monumental arch; and in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, the Pocono Pines houses. He has a major project underway in Coral Gables, Florida, the new School of Architecture for the University of Miami.
A number of other major works are under construction or design phases in Japan, France, England, the Netherlands, and West Germany. He has won design competitions and lectured in major universities around the world over the past thirty years. In the U.S. alone, he has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, Cooper Union, and Cornell.
His drawings and paintings have won him acclaim in exhibitions. His designs for such objects as a coffee pot and furniture have given another added dimension to his career.
As an architectural and urban design theorist, he wrote The Architecture of the City in 1966. Originally published in Italy, it has since been translated into seven languages and has become an international reference on the subject. His A Scientific Autobiography which was first published in English in 1981 has provided even further insight to his beliefs.
In announcing the 1990 choice of the Pritzker Prize, Bill Lacy, secretary to the jury quoted from the formal citation:
"Aldo Rossi, the architect, has achieved acclaim as a theorist, philosopher, artist and teacher. His words as well as his drawings and buildings have distinguished him as great. He is a master draftsman, steeped in the tradition of Italian art and architecture; his sketches and renderings of buildings have often achieved international recognition long before being built.
"Rossi has been able to follow the lessons of classical architecture without copying them; his buildings cavy echoes from the past in their use of forms that have a universal, haunting quality. His work is at once bold and ordinary, original without being novel, refreshingly simple in appearance but extremely complex in content and meaning. In a period of diverse styles and influences, Aldo Rossi has eschewed the fashionable and popular to create an architecture singularly his own.
"On a solid foundation of theory, he uses his talents and ability to solve design problems in memorable and imaginative ways. His influence is extensive and expands with every new commission. With this honor, Aldo Rossi joins a dozen architects already singled out for their contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture."