Architect behind Elbtower wins "Nobel Prize for Architecture"

17 April 2023
Britain's Sir David Chipperfield awarded "Pritzker Architecture Prize"

The Pritzker Architecture Prize, worth USD 100,000, is going to Sir David Chipperfield, the architect behind the Elbtower, this year. The 245-metre structure will be the tallest landmark in Hamburg on completion in 2025. The jury’s citation noted Tuesday (March 7, 2023): “This commitment to an architecture of understated but transformative civic presence and definition - even through private commissions - of the public realm, is done always with austerity, avoiding unnecessary moves and steering clear of trends and fashions, all of which is a most relevant message to our contemporary society.” The award is known among architects as the “Nobel Prize for Architecture”. The 2023 Pritzker Prize will be presented in Athens this May.


Architecture for a better world 

A delighted Sir David remarked: "I take this award as an encouragement to continue to direct my attention not only to the substance of architecture and its meaning but also to the contribution that we can make as architects to address the existential challenges of climate change and societal inequality. We know that, as architects, we can have a more prominent and engaged role in creating not only a more beautiful world but a fairer and more sustainable one too. We must rise to this challenge and help inspire the next generation to embrace this responsibility with vision and courage.” Chipperfield has designed public buildings, museums as well as commercial, residential and retail buildings.

Sir David Alan Chipperfield

Chipperfield's projects in Hamburg

David Chipperfield Architects were involved in the master plan for reviving historic buildings between Stadthausbrücke, Große Bleichen and Neuer Wall and created the 100,000-square-metre Stadthöfe there from 2013-2020. A mix of retail, office space, restaurants and apartments are arranged around four inner courtyards that open up their surroundings. The challenge for the architects lay in combining the historic buildings and their preservation with new elements to create a vibrant inner-city district. The Briton has also changed Hamburg's skyline which now features the Empire Riverside Hotel's bronze tower. The 65-metre hotel tower on the site of the former Bavaria St. Pauli brewery has been in place since 2007.

Empire Riverside Hotel, designed by Sir David Chipperfield

Environment-sensitive designs

Another Chipperfield design, the new Signal-Iduna building on Neue Rabenstrasse 15-19 near the Dammtor railway blends in harmoniously with the surrounding buildings. The architects' vision of a modern office campus triumphed over 13 applicants in a two-stage architectural competition in June 2021. On completion in  2026, it will bear witness to the award-winning architect as a master of restraint as well as a self-confident presence, as the jury noted.


Sources and further information

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