The American Academy of Arts and Letters revealed the big winners of their 2017 Architecture Awards, which includes the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize for Architecture and four Arts and Letters Awards. The jury (chaired once again by architect Elizabeth Diller) selected this year's recipients out of 27 individual architects and practices who were nominated by Academy members.
Not long after being invited to design the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion in London, Diébédo Francis Kéré was honored with the 2017 Brunner Prize. Awarded since 1955, the Prize awards $20,000 to an architect of any nationality for their significant and influential contribution to architecture as an art. Previous winners of the Brunner Prize in the last few years include Phyllis Lambert, Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey, Alberto Campo Baeza, Kathryn Gustafson, and Merrill Elam and Mack Scogin.
Juror Billie Tsien described Diébédo Francis Kéré as “an alchemist working with local materials and technology — mud and hand labor — he has designed buildings of meaning and beauty.”
The jury awarded the four $10,000 Arts and Letters Awards to: installation artist Theaster Gates, founder of the Rebuild Foundation and director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago; esteemed author, critic, and lecturer Paul Goldberger; Walter Hood, founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, CA; and Chicago-based architect John Ronan, best known for designing The Poetry Foundation.
Winners will be presented with their awards during the Academy's annual Ceremonial in New York City this May.
The 2017 jury featured: Elizabeth Diller (chairman), Henry N. Cobb, Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Hugh Hardy, Steven Holl, Thom Mayne, James Polshek, Robert A. M. Stern, Billie Tsien, and Tod Williams.
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