Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne will be a member of the independent jury evaluating entries in the first Holcim Awards competition for region North America. In winning the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Mayne becomes the first American in 14 years to take out what many consider the profession’s most important international award.
The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established by The Hyatt Foundation in 1979 to honor annually a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. It has often been described as “architecture’s most prestigious award” or as “the Nobel of architecture.”
Thom Mayne founded his firm “Morphosis” to surpass the bounds of traditional forms and materials, and move beyond the limits of modernism and postmodernism. He was chosen as the 2005 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize which crowns a 30 year career in which Mayne has received 54 American Institute of Architects Awards, 25 Progressive Architecture Awards, and numerous other honors from around the world.
Mayne’s most recent built works to capture major media attention include the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters and the Science Education Resource Center, both completed in 2004 in Los Angeles. Other completed works include the Hypo Alpe-Adria Center in Klagenfurt, Austria and the Sun Tower in Seoul, South Korea. Works in progress include the Alaska State Capitol building in Juneau, United States and a Social Housing project in Madrid, Spain.
Mayne has remained active in the academic world throughout his career. He holds a tenured professorship at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), is a founder of the influential and progressive Southern California Institute of Architecture, and continues to act as visiting professor/lecturer at institutions and universities around the world.
Born in Connecticut and raised in California, he completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California (UCLA), he founded “Morphosis” in 1972. He spent the early part of his career designing small experimental projects before rising to prominence in the 1990s after winning several large public commissions. His buildings, often clad in sheets of textured metal and concrete, are described as having the quality of being unfinished and in motion.
Mayne will serve with 11 other prominent leaders from science, business and society in assessing entries in the Holcim Awards competition from North America. The jury will evaluate entries in the competition according to five “target issues” of sustainable construction that have been jointly developed by the Holcim Foundation and its partner universities. Head of the jury is Professor Adèle Naudé Santos, Dean, School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Santos runs interdisciplinary urban design courses at MIT for architecture, landscape, and urban design students to collaborate and address unsolved problems in the urban environment.
The Holcim Foundation is supported by five of the world’s leading technical universities: MIT in Cambridge, USA; the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in Switzerland; Tongji University in Shanghai, China; the University of São Paulo in Brazil; and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. ETH Zurich acts as the Technical Competence Center of the Holcim Foundation and coordinates the collaboration among the partner universities and the Awards juries.
Head of the Technical Competence Center of the Holcim Foundation, Professor Dr. Hans-Rudolf Schalcher is Head of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Schalcher said that Mayne’s inclusion in the jury would contribute to the assessment process and bring notoriety to the Holcim Awards. “We’re delighted that Thom Mayne has agreed to be a member of the Holcim Awards jury for North America” he said. “Having an architect of his caliber who has remained unfettered by the constraints of form and materials use will be a great benefit in identifying projects that challenge preconceptions of sustainability.”
The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction promotes innovative approaches to sustainable construction mainly through international Awards competitions. Architectural excellence and enhanced quality of life are integral parts of the Holcim Foundation’s vision of sustainable construction.