Sponsored by The Hyatt Foundation

Ceremony Speech

Martha Thorne
Executive Director
The Pritzker Architecture Prize

Good evening and welcome to the 2006 ceremony of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. (Said in Turkish, Portuguese, and English.) I am Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and it is my distinct privilege and pleasure to be here to welcome you here tonight’s event.

Tonight we are here to celebrate architecture; the architecture of this wonderful city, the architecture of the past Pritzker Architecture Prize laureates, who are represented tonight by Mr. Gottfried Bøhm, laureate of 1985, Professor Hans Hollein, 1986, and Mr Thom Mayne, 2005; and of course, we are here to celebrate the newest member of the Pritzker community, Mr. Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

I am sure you know that the Pritzker Architecture Prize was founded in 1979 through the vision and generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pritzker and continues to be supported by the family and the Hyatt Foundation. Cindy Pritzker is here with us tonight.

The prize is granted for an outstanding body of built work that reflects the highest degree of the art of architecture and that makes a of the City of significant contribution to humanity. As we remember the beginnings of the prize we can see that the criteria have remained stable and firm. Today, we honor the newest laureate. And, as we look to the future, we are optimistic, as one purpose of the prize is to inspire those who practice architecture today and the many who will become future creators of our built environment.

It is now my privilege to introduce Mr. Topba, Mayor Istanbul.