Thomas Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, has confirmed that Wang Shu’s is the first Chinese architect to be awarded the prestigious 2012 Pritzker prize, seen as the Nobel prize for architecture.
“The fact that an architect from China has been selected by the jury, represents a significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals,” said 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.”
The 49-year-old founded his Amateur Architecture Studio firm in Huangzhou with his wife, Lu Wenyu, in 1997.
Already in his first design accomplishment, the Library of Wenzheng College, Shu showed a great ability to mix modern technology with the traditions of the past in harmony with the future needs for sustainable development.
In 2012, Shu was among eight Chinese architects to take part in the Alessi (Un)Forbidden City metaproject premiered at the Beijing Design Week 2011.
His “Clouds Root” tray, originates from memory.
“Chinese academics love to compare the elusiveness of clouds to the inconsistency of human emotions,” said Shu.
“The stones in the gardens of academics are clouds but they also represent the love between a man and a woman… We always hope to achieve a sound basis in a life that is continually changing, something solid like stone. For this reason, the stones in the gardens are called ‘clouds root”.
The formal Pritzker ceremony will be held on May 25 in Beijing.