The Pritzker Prize, the so-called ‘Nobel Prize for architects’, honours a living architect or architects whose work has demonstrated a combination of talent, vision and commitment. Founded in 1979 to encourage public awareness of good architecture, the award is only conferred on those whose work produces a significant, consistent contribution to humanity. We take a closer look at the winners of this award, architects who built the modern world as we know it.
Robert Venturi was crowned as laureate in 1991 and is credited with saving modern architecture. In the three decades prior to winning the Pritzker Prize, Venturi’s work had ranged from cups and saucers to buildings of a variety of shapes and sizes. He graduated from Princeton University in 1947, receiving his Master’s in Fine art from the same college in 1950. One of his first projects was the Milwaukee County War Memorial Centre, which he designed in while working for Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. His works include Gordon Wu Hall, part of Princeton University, and the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
In 1988, Gordon Bunshaft was awarded the Pritzker Prize for, amongst other things, instigating a whole new era in skyscraper design. He was born in 1909 in New York, growing up to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He attained his bachelor’s degree in 1933, achieving his master’s in 1935. His designs include the Lever House in New York City; the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and the National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Between the 1960s and 70s, Bunshaft was a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, serving on the President’s Commission of Fine Arts. Gordon Bunshaft died in 1990, just two years after he won his prize.
Ieoh Ming Pei
Ieoh Ming Pei – known as I. M. Pei – was born in 1917, in Canton, China, but left as a young man to pursue his career in the United States; at 97, Pei is today one of the Pritzker Prize’s oldest living recipients. After moving from China, he studied in a range of American universities, including MIT, the University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Outstanding examples of Pei’s work include the Bank of China in Hong Kong and the renovation of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; in fact, he has designed more than 50 buildings worldwide. He also designed the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, in 1968.
On April 17, 1984, the Pritzker Prize panel announced that architect Richard Meier had won that year’s award. Meier was selected because of his single-minded pursuit of innovative contemporary architecture. This includes the way he balanced light and shapes to create vigorous and stimulating spaces.Meier won the prize aged just 49, making him the youngest ever recipient. Meier’s early work included private commissions for a number of houses. Notable examples include the Smith House in Darien, Connecticut, and The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana. Upon honouring Meier, the jury panel said that what he had achieved was ‘only prologue to the compelling new experiences we anticipate from his drawing board’ – he has proceeded to prove them right.
Philip Johnson was awarded the laureate of Pritzker Prize in 1979. Notable works of his include the University of Houston, Texas; the Crystal Cathedral in California and New York’s AT&T Corporate Headquarters. Johnson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1906 and died in 2005, a year before his one hundredth birthday. He is also credited with coining the term ‘The International School of Architecture’ at an exhibition for MOMA. Philip Johnson was the inaugural winner of the Pritzker Prize, and since then generations of architects have followed in his footsteps as they seek to emulate his successes.
Thom Mayne is one of the more recent winners of the Pritzker Prize, winning the accolade in 2005. Not only has Mayne contributed to the landscape throughout much of southern California, he also remained active within the academic world of architecture. Mayne and his work are described as the product of the turbulent 1960s, with a rebellious attitude and fervent desire for change. His selected works that won him the accolade include the Blades Residence in Santa Barbara, California, and the University of Cincinnati Campus Recreation Centre, Ohio. He founded Morphosis Architects in 1972, which, over the years, has picked up more than 20 awards.
Kevin Roche was granted the Pritzker Prize accolade in 1982, and his greatest works include the Knights of Columbus Headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut; the College Life Insurance Company Headquarters in Indianapolis and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Lehman Pavilion, New York. On announcing Roche’s winning of the Pritzker Prize, the jury said that Roche was not an easy man to describe, ‘an innovator who did not worship innovation for itself, a professional unconcerned with trends’. Roche was born in Dublin in 1922 and received his degree in architecture from the National University of 1945. After graduating, he continued his studies in America. He eventually found himself in the office of Eliel and Eero Sarrinen, as he searched for the humanist side of architecture.
By Oliver Griffin
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.