SANAA founders Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa honored as 2022 Praemium Imperiale Award laureates
By Josh Niland|
Thursday, Sep 15, 2022
The Japan Art Association has just announced SANAA founders Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa as the 2022 Architecture category winners of the coveted annual Praemium Imperiale Award, now in its 33rd year.
The 2010 Pritzker Prize laureates were joined by winners in other categories that include Italian Arte Povera painter Giulio Paolini, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and architecturally-inspired Alice in the Cities director Wim Wenders.
Their three-decade body of work was commended for its “light, outward-opening, precise, and sophisticated style” and will now count among the award’s prestigious list of past winners, which has recently included Glen Murcutt, Tod Williams & Billie Tsien, Rafael Moneo, David Chipperfield, and Steven Holl.
The Tokyo-based practice was particularly lauded for its cultural sector designs including 2004’s 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, the River Building at Grace Farms, and the recent design for Milan’s Bocconi University New Urban Campus, which was completed in 2020.
Their soon-to-open Art Gallery of New South Wales project will bookend a string of examples of what the jury characterized as “transparent and light designs [that] have blown a fresh wind into the architectural world.”
SANAA is now the sixth overall Japanese winner in the category behind Kenzo Tange, Tadao Ando, Fumihiko Maki, Toyo Ito, and Yoshio Taniguchi.
As part of the Award, the architects will receive an honorarium of 15 million yen (equivalent to about $105,000 USD) and be presented with a medal by Japan’s Prince Hitachi during a special ceremony to be held on October 19th in Tokyo. An overview of the award's past winners can be found here.
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