Will Steven Holl win the Pritzker?

the pedestrian-friendly Linked Hybrid

the Linked Hybrid is named after the bridges that link the project together

We’re a little more than a month away from the Hyatt Foundation announcing the recipient of the 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize, an annual award that recognizes a living architect who has made a “significant contribution to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” It’s a relatively young prize– younger than the Grammys or even the Super Bowl– even though architecture is a discipline that predates the invention gramophones or astroturf. And over the past 33 years, an evolving jury has picked a winner for the prestige, the medallion and the fat check. Last year, it was the Japanese partnership Sanaa that the jury recognized, so what about this year?

Steven Holl! He was the first candidate that popped in my head and he’s had a terrific crop of projects in the recent past that augments his existing body of outstanding work. Today, I’m sharing images of his Beijing behemoth Linked Hybrid that wasn’t quite  finished in time for the 2008 olympics, but rivals many of the city’s new architectural spectacles. It is surprising that Mr. Holl has been passed over the the prize for as many years as he has; surely a 220,000 square meter sustainable and pedestrian-porous project will elicit the attention of the jury.

There’s a few other architects that I think are prime candidates for the prize (Eisenman, Chipperfield, etc.) but I’ll get to them later; today is about Steven Holl, the primary suspect for recognition by the jury in 2011.


February 14, 2011