"Great technologies breed great architecture. There are no visionary utopias in the minds of philosophers that do not enter the realm of architecture.
It is also the most difficult of all the arts. How often I have envied my colleagues who write, paint, or compose music. They live where they like, they work when they want — no recalcitrant materials, no leaky roofs, no stopped-up sewers. They tear up their mistakes.
And yet, and yet, what thrill can be as great as a design carried through, a building created in three dimensions, partaking of painting in color and detail, partaking of sculpture in shape and mass. A building for people, people other than oneself, who can rejoice together over the creation ".
The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established in 1979 for the purpose of encouraging greater awareness of the way people perceive and interact with their surroundings.
The first award is being given to Philip Johnson, whose work demonstrates a combination of the qualities of talent, vision and commitment that has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the environment. As a critic and historian, he championed the cause of modern architecture and then went on to design some of his greatest buildings. Philip Johnson is being honored for 50 years of imagination and vitality embodied in a myriad of museums, theaters, libraries, houses, gardens and corporate structures.
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