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Chinese architect wins Pritzker Architecture Prize


09:38, February 29, 2012

HANGZHOU, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese architect Wang Shu has won the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize, according to a Monday announcement by Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize.

The 49-year-old Wang was the first architect from the Chinese mainland to win the prize, joining Leoh Ming Pei, a famous Chinese-American architect who won the prize in 1983.

"The question of the proper relation of present to past is particularly timely, for the recent process of urbanization in China invites debate as to whether architecture should be anchored in tradition or should look only towards the future," said Lord Palumbo, a Pritzker Prize jury chairman, in a statement.

"As with any great architecture, Wang Shu's work is able to transcend that debate, producing an architecture that is timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal," Lord Palumbo said.

All of Wang's works were built in China, including the Library of Wenzheng College at Suzhou University and "Five Scattered Houses" in east China's Zhejiang province.

Wang expressed surprise at his victory, stating that he believes his work and efforts over the last ten years have finally paid off.

Wang, who founded the Amateur Architecture Studio firm with his wife Lu Wenyu in 1997, explained that he opened the studio "out of interest (in the art)," not "for material interests or treating it as a profession."

Chinese architect and jury member Yung Ho Chang said Wang's works are "deeply rooted in Chinese culture with a strong sense of cultural continuity."

The formal Pritzker Architecture Prize ceremony will be held in Beijing on May 25.


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