The Japan Art Association today announced the recipients of the prestigious Praemium Imperiale prize, and the award in the Architecture category went to American practitioners Tod Williams and Billie Tsien this year.
The list of previous Praemium Imperiale winners features prominent names, including Kenzo Tange, Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Henning Larsen, Ricardo Legorreta, Toyo Ito, and more recently, Christian de Portzamparc, Rafael Moneo, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Dominique Perrault, and Steven Holl.
Established in 1986, the New York-based practice Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects has gained international recognition through their thoughtful and materiality-focused approach towards mostly public and institutional projects, such as the American Folk Art Museum (R.I.P.), the Barnes Foundation, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, and more recently, their competition-winning design for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.
"No matter the complexity or size of project," praises the Japan Art Association the work of Williams and Tsien, "their values remain intact and their pursuit of leaving good marks on the earth and transcending expectations is unwavering."
Prizes in other creative categories this year went to William Kentridge (South Africa) for Painting, Mona Hatoum (UK) for Sculpture, Anne-Sophie Mutter (Germany) for Music, and Japanese kabuki actor Bando Tamasaburo in the Theater/Film category.
An awards ceremony will be held in Tokyo on October 16 where each laureate will be presented with a medal by Japanese Prince Hitachi along with a testimonial letter and a honorarium of 15 million Yen ($140,000).
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