Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners at Tokyo-based firm SANAA, were named laureates of architecture's highest jonor, The Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Pictured above is SANAA's 2009 project, The Rolex Learning Center, Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne, Switzerland. Among the firm's projects cited by the jury were the Glass Pavilion for the Toledo Museum of Art, the New Museum in New York, the O-Museum in Nagano and the 21st Century Muscum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa.
The prize is awarded every year to a living architect for significant achievement, and was established by the Pritzker family in Chicago in 1979.
According to the Pritzker Jury citation, Sejima and Nishiwa were honored "for architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever; for the creation of buildings that successfully interact with their contexts and the activities they contain, creating a sense of fullness and experiential richness; for a singular architectural language that springs from a collaborative process that is both unique and inspirational; for their notable completed buildings and the promise of new projects together."
This is the fourth time the prize has been given to a Japanese architect. The late Kenzo Tange earned the first in 1987, Fumihiko Maki won the prize in 1987 and Tadao Ando took home the honor in in 1995.