An architect from China has been awarded the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Wang Shu, a 48-year-old architect whose architectural practice is based in Hangzhou, The People's Republic of China, was announced as the winner on Monday.
"The fact that an architect from China has been selected by the jury, represents a significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals," stated whoever said this. "In addition, over the coming decades China's success at urbanization will be important to China and to the world."
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Last year, both Wang and his wife, Lu Wenyu, were awarded the German Schelling Architecture Prize.That year, he also became the first Chinese architect to hold the position of "Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor" at Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Other international recognition includes the French Gold Medal from the Academy of Architecture in 2011.
"This is really a big surprise," said Wang after winning his latest award. "I am tremendously honored to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. I suddenly realized that I've done many things over the last decade. It proves that earnest hard work and persistence lead to positive outcomes."
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is an international prize that is awarded each year to a living architect for significant achievement. Established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979, the Prtizker Architecture Prize is often referred to as the "architecture's Nobel" and "the profession's highest honor."
Since its establishment 33 years ago, the prize has not been awarded to anyone from China until now.
In announcing the jury's choice, Pritzker Prize jury chairman Peter Palumbo hailed Wang for "producing an architecture that is timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal."
"The question of the proper relation of present to past is particularly timely, for the recent process of urbanization in China invites debate as to whether architecture should be anchored in tradition or should look only toward the future. As with any great architecture, Wang Shu´s work is able to transcend that debate," Palumbo said from his home in the United Kingdom, quoting from the jury citation that focuses on the reasons for this year's choice.
The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture's highest honor will be in Beijing on May 25.