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David Chipperfield Named Winner of 2023 Pritzker Architecture Prize

etc. Park Jiyoun Apr 03, 2023

SPACE April 2023 (No. 665)​


View of the River and Rowing Museum​ Image courtesy of Richard Bryant Arcaid


Aluminum louvers of Amorepacific Headquarters​ Image courtesy of Noshe


David Chipperfield was announced as the 2023 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. He founded David Chipperfield Architects in London in 1985 after working for Norman Foster (a 1999 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner) and Richard Rogers (a 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner). Chipperfield has focused on museum and art institution architecture, from private collection museums such as Museo Jumex (2013) in Mexico City to public art museum renovations such as the Neues Museum in Berlin (2009), and operates internationally with offices in London, Berlin, Milan, and Shanghai. One of his signal works located in Korea is the Amorepacific Headquarters (2017, covered in SPACE No. 609). Context is often foremost in mind in Chipperfield’s works. In an interview with SPACE on the Amorepacific Headquarters, he explained the desire to contribute to the urban landscape of Yongsan in Seoul, and noted that white porcelain had become a central motif in the design. He preserved and foregrounded the walls and frescoes damaged by the World War II at the Neues Museum in Berlin, while the design of the River and Rowing Museum (1997) was inspired by traditional wooden barns and boat houses dotted along the river in Oxfordshire. Context is something that most architects consider, but Chipperfield occupies a special position in this regard in that he embodies context in a minimal way. He is generally referred as a ‘minimalist’, while the panel of judges as also paid attention to the elegant moderation of his designs. He minimises unnecessary design elements while elevating aesthetic quality to a high level. This is clarified by Lim Sunghun (professor, Tongmyong University): ‘I was deeply impressed by his attempts to use a limited range of materials to make the building consistent in its aspect and also by his delicate skill in dealing with the detail to make all the pieces act as one.’ Chipperfield’s projects can be summarised as minimal buildings built within the context of the site, but such a definition leaves a lot to be desired. His works are informed by social and cultural points of interest and tension, such as architecture that encourages communication between people or architecture in remembrance of past trauma. They are also pursued from a design perspective such ambitions for form and material. The fact that many architects and scholars still eagerly anticipate his work with great interest and analyze them in various ways is perhaps evidence of Chipperfield’s singularity. The 2023 Pritzker Architecture Prize ceremony will be held in Athens, Greece, in May of this year. by Park Jiyoun