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We all know that last week Pritzker prize for 2018 was awarded to India’s veteran architect, Balkrishna Doshi in Toronto. The laureate received $100,000 and also a bronze medallion. The prize is awarded to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment; and has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. This year’s award ceremony was held at Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada. Do you know why this venue was chosen for the function and what is the India connection with the award venue?
Typically, the Pritzker prize laureate(s) is announced each March, and the official award ceremony is held that spring at a significant site throughout the world. As the ceremony locations are usually chosen each year prior to the Laureate is selection, there is no intended connection between the Pritzker Prize laureate(s) and the ceremony site.
However, there is some India connection with the Aga Khan Museum where this year’s award function was held. The Aga Khan Museum was designed by Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki. The museum clad in white granite, was opened in 2014. Maki imagined the building as a composition of a series of folded white surfaces that are in dialogue with the nearby Ismaili Centre. And this Centre was designed by none other than late Indian architect Charles Correa! Incidentally, Charles Correa was a member of the Pritzker Prize Jury from 1993 to 1998. The two buildings are united by the Aga Khan Park, designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic and includes a series of reflecting pools as well as landscaped gardens.
Past Pritzker Architecture Prize ceremonies have been held at France’s Palace of Versailles and Grand Trianon; Tōdai-ji Buddist Temple in Nara, Japan; Prague Castle in the Czech Republic; Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan; the White House in Washington, D.C.; Beijing’s Great Hall of the People; as well as at distinguished art institutions including The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Altes Museum in Berlin, Germany; and the Art Institute of Chicago.