Alvaro Siza of Portugal Is Named the 1992 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate
Alvaro Siza, who has been praised by his peers in Europe as one this century's finest architects, but is relatively unknown to most of the world, has been elected to receive his profession's highest honor, the 1992 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Jay A. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, which established the award in 1979, will present Siza with a $100,000 grant, a medallion and certificate at a formal ceremony on May 14, to be held at the recently dedicated Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago, Illinois.
In making the announcement from The Hyatt Foundation's headquarters in Chicago, Pritzker hailed the choice of the jury that made the selection, saying, "Not since the late Luis Barragán of Mexico was elected Laureate in the second year of the prize have we honored someone whose work has so eluded the international spotlight, but is none the less worthy. Bestowing this prize will help focus public attention on yet another facet of excellence in the profession."
Siza joins an exclusive fraternity of Pritzker Laureates that includes seven architects from England, Italy, Japan, Austria, Germany, Mexico, Brazil and seven more from the United States.
In making the announcement, Bill Lacy, secretary to the international panel of jurors that elects the Laureate, quoted from the jury's citation: "The architecture of Alvaro Siza is a joy to the senses and uplifts the spirit. Each line and curve is placed with skill and sureness." And further, "his enrichment of the world's architectural vocabulary and inventory over the past four decades" justifies presentation of the Pritzker Prize.
A month after he receives the prize, Siza will celebrate his fifty-eighth birthday on June 25. He has been practicing architecture from his own office in Porto, Portugal for 38 of those years. He is a widower with two children, Alvaro and Joana.