Jay A. Pritzker
The Hyatt Foundation
In the past seven years, we’ve had the pleasure of making these presentations in a number of distinguished places that you might know like Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, the National Building Museum in Washington, the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and once we even braved the Indians and went out west to the Art Institute of Chicago. I want to thank all of you at the Huntington for giving us the opportunity to hold our ceremony in the real West. And, what an incredible setting this is. I understand that the architect of this stately home is Myron Hunt. I’m sure he would approve of our efforts to further the cause of architecture by encouraging a greater awareness of how people perceive and interact with their surroundings. I understand that Mr. Hunt, too, came from Chicago and in 1959 a young architectural student from Vienna came to Chicago to study architecture with Mies van der Rohe at Illinois Institute of Technology. That was Hans Hollein our laureate this evening. Hans sought out other idols, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, both of whom I understand have descendents with us here tonight. Hans also came west. He went to Berkeley for a Masters and then back to Vienna where I understand he quickly began receiving awards and commissions. Our distinguished jury has seen fit to choose Hans Hollein as the laureate of this year’s architectural prize.
Architecture is intended to transcend the simple need for shelter and security by becoming an expression of artistry. John Ruskin in the last century expressed it well when he said that, “Architecture is the art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by man that the sight of them contributes to his mental health, power, and pleasure.” With that thought in mind it is our pleasure to present to Hans Hollein the symbol of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.