Hans Hollein, an Austrian architect whose work is acclaimed around the world, was today named the 1985 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. He is the seventh architect to be so honored, and the third from outside the United States.
Consisting of a $100,000 tax-free grant and a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, the international Pritzker Architecture Prize was established in 1979 to reward a creative endeavor not honored by the Nobel Prizes.
Jay A. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation that sponsors the prize, presented the check to Hollein today at the Museum of Modern Art. The sculpture will be presented in a formal ceremony at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California on May 10.
The distinguished international panel of jurors that made the selection this year consists of J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., who served as chairman; Giovanni Agnelli, chairman of Fiat in Torino, Italy; J. Irwin Miller, chairman, executive and finance committees of the Curnmins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana; Thomas J. Watson, chairman emeritus of IBM Corporation; and three architects, Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico City; Fumihiko Maki of Tokyo; and 1982 Pritzker Prize Laureate, Kevin Roche of Hamden, Connecticut.
In making the presentation, Pritzker quoted from the jury's citation which describes Hollein as "an architect who is also an artist… one who with wit and eclectic gusto draws upon the traditions of the New World as readily as upon those of the Old, " and further, saluting him "as a superb teacher, who urges the young by his example to take big chances, and yet making sure that the designed remains of paramount importance, not the designer.
Brendan Gill, noted author and journalist who is secretary to the jury, in announcing the Laureate, praised Hollein as "that comparatively rare thing in contemporary architecture, an artist-architect, combining great technical prowess with a gift for astonishing the ' eye. His buildings, like his drawings, have a playful seductiveness. One is happy in their presence."