Richard Meier, architect of the recently acclaimed High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as many other world-wide public projects and private residences over the past two decades, was today named the 1984 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. He is the sixth architect in the world to be so honored.
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, which established the prize, presented the check today, and will present the sculpture in a ceremony at the National Gallery of Art on May 15.
A prestigious panel of jurors reviews nominations from around the world each year to make the selection. The jurors this year were Giovanni Agnelli, Chairman of Fiat, Torino, Italy; J. Carter Brown, Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Arata Isozaki, noted Japanese architect; Philip Johnson, 1979 Pritzker Prize Laureate; J. Irwin Miller, Chairman, Executive and Finance Committees, Cummins Engine Company; Kevin Roche, 1982 Pritzker Prize Laureate; and Thomas J. Watson, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, IBM Corporation. Jurors in years past have included the late Lord Clark of Saltwood, England and Cesar Pelli, Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University.
Carleton Smith, secretary to the jury and chairman of the International Awards Foundation, who announced the name of the Laureate at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum today, stated that Meier was the unanimous choice of the jury.
He quoted the jury's citation as follows: "We honor Richard Meier for his single-minded pursuit of new directions in contemporary architecture. In his search for clarity and his experiments in balancing light, forms, and space, he has created works that are personal, vigorous, original.
"His houses, seminary, museums and public buildings have stretched and enriched our imaging, our thinking, our wanting, and perhaps our doing. They are intended not to overwhelm but to celebrate."
He concluded, "What he has achieved is only prologue to the compelling new experiences we anticipate from his drawing board."