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Richard Rogers of the UK Becomes the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate

Richard Rogers, whose firm Richard Rogers Partnership is headquartered in London, has been chosen as the 2007 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor will be held on June 4 in London. At that time, a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion will be bestowed on the 73-year old architect at The Banqueting House, designed in 1619 by Inigo Jones.

In announcing the jury’s choice, Thomas J. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, quoted from the jury citation, “Born in Florence, Italy, and trained as an architect in London, at the Architectural Association, and later, in the United States at Yale University, Rogers has an outlook as urbane and expansive as his upbringing. In his writings, through his role as advisor to policy making groups, as well as his large-scale planning work, Rogers is a champion of urban life and believes in the potential of the city to be a catalyst for social change.”

In Rogers’ own words, his vision is that cities of the future “will no longer be zoned as today in isolated one-activity ghettos; rather they will resemble the more richly layered cities of the past. Living, work, shopping, learning, and leisure will overlap and be housed in continuous, varied and changing structures.”

Pritzker Prize jury chairman, Lord Palumbo elaborated with more of the citation: “Throughout his distinguished career of more than forty years, Richard Rogers has consistently pursued the highest goals for architecture. Key Rogers projects already represent defining moments in the history of contemporary architecture. The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1971-1977), designed in partnership with Renzo Piano, revolutionized museums, transforming what had once been elite monuments into popular places of social and cultural exchange, woven into the heart of the city. Lloyd’s of London in the City of London (1978-1986), another landmark of late twentieth century design, established Richard Rogers’ reputation as a master not only of the large urban building, but also of his own brand of architectural expressionism. As these buildings and other subsequent projects, such as the recently completed and acclaimed Terminal 4, Barajas Airport in Madrid (1997- 2005) demonstrate, a unique interpretation of the Modern Movement’s fascination with the building as machine, an interest in architectural clarity and transparency, the integration of public and private spaces, and a commitment to flexible floor plans that respond to the ever-changing demands of users, are recurring themes in his work.” Terminal 4, Barajas Airport won the 2006 Stirling Prize.

Rogers is the fourth laureate to be chosen from the United Kingdom, the first three being the late James Stirling in 1981, Lord Foster (Norman Foster) in 1999, and Zaha Hadid in 2004. He is the thirty-first laureate since the prize was founded in 1979. Rogers was appointed a Labour life peer in 1996 taking the title, The Lord Rogers of Riverside. In addition to London, Richard Rogers Partnership (which will be renamed Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in the UK next month) has offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Tokyo. Some of the major projects that span the globe include: in New York, the design for a 71-story tower for the World Trade Center site at 175 Greenwich Street; in Washington, D.C., an office building under construction at 300 New Jersey Avenue; in UK, mentioning just a few works—the Leadenhall Building; the Millennium Experience; and an early project, Wimbledon House, a home for Rogers’ parents in the late 1960s; the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff; the Nippon Television Headquarters in Tokyo, as well as several other projects there and in South Korea.