And the Pritzker goes to …

Wang Shu

I want to say only two things about this year’s Pritzker laureate:

1. the fact that Wang Shu won the 2012 Pritzker Prize tends to confirm the alternative practices in Chinese archtiecture. Glossy architecture magazines made us believe that Chinese architecture (or, better said, architecture that is built nowadays in Chine) is parametric, commercial, steel and glass, done by starchitects, iconic etc. I saw these alternative practices at the 2010 Venice Biennale at the New CHinese Archtiectural Practices Exhibition. Lots of projects with local roots (and I’m not talking only about traditions), great sensibility to the site, socially involved, are emerging all over China, but are not as flashy and magazine material as the others.

2. As SOuto Moura before him, Wang Shu represents a very classic architectural practice> function, site, local image. Not saying that this is wrong!!! I just want to say that giving Wang Shu the prize is another way of trying to affirm the autonomy of architecture as a domain … isolated, elitist and a little autistical


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