Photo courtesy of Tom Welsh


David Chipperfield, Pritzker Prize 2023

Announced on Tuesday 7 March, the 2023 Pritzker Prize was awarded to Sir David Chipperfield. The jury underlines “his commitment to an architecture of understated but transformative civic presence”; “done always with austerity, avoiding unnecessary moves and steering clear of trends and fashions” in order to create “structures able to last, physically and culturally”.

Ten years ago, the English architect said the same thing: interviewed by Jonathan Glancey (The Guardian), on the occasion of AA monographic issue, he said: “Good architecture is sustainable. It’s built to last. And, if it’s good architecture, future generations will do their best to keep it standing. They may change a building’s use, but the architecture will endure. Too many architectural practices talk about “sustainability” as a smoke screen to hide behind when their work is unimaginative or, simply, second-rate. Of course, we aim to design thoughtfully and responsibly; that’s what architects are meant to do.”

Architects are all a part of a Faustian pact. If an architect wants to be as free as an artist, no one is standing in his or her way; he or she just won’t get to build, and if you want to build, you have to sign the pact. Having said this, we can offer a certain amount of resistance, resistance to stylistic tendencies, resistance to intellectual laziness and, of course, we can try to persuade clients to think a little harder too, and even – although very, very rarely– to spend more on a particular building project.”

Read the beginning of this interview published in AA No.393 (January-February 2013) by clicking on the image below.

The 2013 David Chipperfield AA issue is still available in our online shop.

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