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Riken Yamamoto, Winner of the 2024 Pritzker Prize


This year's highest accolade in the world of architecture has been bestowed upon Riken Yamamoto, for his impactful work in crafting spaces that harmonise functionality, sustainability, and human well-being. The 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize, often likened to the Nobel Prize of this field, highlights Yamamoto's focus on architectural design that places humans and their interaction with the environment at its heart.

Throughout his career, Yamamoto has been at the forefront of blending natural elements with urban structures, providing innovative solutions to contemporary urban life challenges. His work, such as the Saitama Prefectural University and the Tianjin Library, showcases a dedication to creating spaces that foster collaboration, learning, and interaction. The university is a model of communal engagement and educational synergy, while the library stands as an innovative beacon of knowledge, designed to inspire and accommodate diverse user experiences. 

Saitama Prefectural University, photo courtesy of Tomio Ohashi

The Pritzker jury's decision to honour Yamamoto this year is based on his unique ability to create architecture that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also deeply humane. As the committee put it, Yamamoto embodies the virtue of "reminding us that in architecture, as in democracy, spaces must be created by the will of the people".

Upon receiving the award, Yamamoto joins a distinguished league of architects who have left an indelible mark on our cities and the lives of their inhabitants, such as the illustrious Frank Gehry (1989), Zaha Hadid (2004), and Francis Keré (2022). His legacy, characterised by a relentless pursuit of innovation, continues to inspire architects worldwide to envision and construct a future where design caters to human needs and planetary well-being.

Tianjin Library, photo courtesy of Nacasa & Partners

The Pritzker Prize, awarded annually by the Hyatt Foundation since 1979, not only celebrates architectural excellence but also acknowledges architects' ability to positively influence society.

In this regard, the ZIGURAT Institute of Technology closely aligns with the Pritzker's mission, focusing on nurturing leaders who advance architecture, engineering, and technology in service to people and sustainability. Through its programmes, ZIGURAT inspires its community to create urban environments that reflect these values, showcasing the transformative power of education.