This is a big week for Chinese design and architecture in China – Chinese architect Wang Shu has won the prestigious Prtizker Prize. Hangzhou based Wang has run Amateur Studios with his wife since 1997. Why is this a big deal? Becuase it shows that China is capable of producing its own sustainable buildings, without resorting to pastiche or copying buildings from elsewhere. Here begins a swing from iconic wasteful structures and spaces to a valuable built environment for China.
Chinese architect Wang Shu has won this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize, becoming the first Chinese citizen to receive the prize.
Mr Wang is recognised for museums, libraries and other structures of his design across China.
His work was commended for being aesthetically striking and environmentally sustainable, at a time of fast-paced urbanisation in China.
He will be awarded $100,000 (£63,000) at a ceremony in Beijing in May.
Past winners include Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano and Eduardo Souto de Moura.
‘Harmony’Mr Wang’s work was said to represent a standard of excellence “critical” to China’s future
The selection represented a “significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals,” said Thomas J Pritzer, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation which sponsors the prize.
“China’s unprecedented opportunities for urban planning and design will want to be in harmony with both its long and unique traditions of the past and with its future needs for sustainable development,” added Mr Pritzker.
“The selection of Wang Shu reflects the jury’s view that his work represents that standard of excellence which will be so critical to China’s future.”
Mr Wang’s work included the Library of Wenzheng College at Suzhou University, the Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum, the Ningbo History Museum, and the Vertical Courtyard Apartments in Hangzhou.
To cover the roof of the Xingshan Campus of the China Academy of Art, Mr Wang used more than two million tiles he had salvaged from demolished traditional houses.
Mr Wang is head of the architecture department of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and runs his Amateur Architecture Studio firm with his wife, Lu Wenyu.