Sponsored by The Hyatt Foundation

Ceremony Speech

Walter Veltroni
Mayor of Rome

We’re very honored to host here in Campidoglio, in this square, such an important prize for worldwide architecture. To talk about the possibility of holding this event here on this square was the Honorable Giovanni Agnelli who talked to me about this on the phone a few months ago. He has been for a long time an outstanding member of the jury for this prize. We can all wish him a quick recovery from his disease because he is, uh, for our country, for the economy of our country, one of the biggest resources. This square was designed by Michelangelo and Michelangelo’s design is very strong in the history of architecture of Rome. All the architecture of this city was developed by people of very high standing, very high level and prestige. But to tell the truth, as of the 60’s, it was quite difficult for contemporary architecture to leave a mark on the architecture and the buildings of this great city. And the impression is that development had been marked by a quiet kind of quantitative rather than qualitative idea thereby ignoring the idea of leaving a mark on architecture.

But now things are starting to change and I had the chance of showing to Mrs. Pritzker and all of the people who came to my office, I showed them a unique view of the city, and I could present them with a medal which has on its backside the original design of the auditorium which was designed and built by Renzo Piano who is here with us today.

And a sign on the mark of contemporary architecture will be soon seen in the Municipal Gallery Of Modern Art and the National Gallery Of Modern Art which will be designed by Fuksas and also in the new Congress Center which will be soon designed and built in Rome.

Architecture is a project, is creativity which turns into reality into a dimension, into space. Therefore, it’s a way of designing and planning a city. Rome will be for future generations the City of Michelangelo, the City of Campidoglio, but also the City of the auditorium designed by Renzo Piano, and it is precisely in this double dimension which the greatness of architecture lies. And this is the reason why we are very honored to host this prize here in this city, in this square, and we wish you successful work and we hope that this prize will, in the next few years, be able to aid the qualitative growth and development of town planning and architecture.