Beijing to host next year's Pritzker Architecture Prize

Already boasting recent builds by Zaha Hadid, Sir Norman Foster and Herzog & de Meuron, the capital's reputation as architectural hot-spot is confirmed
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Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), CCTV & TVCC Television Centres (2008), Beijing

1 / 17 Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), CCTV & TVCC Television Centres (2008), Beijing

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), CCTV & TVCC Television Centres (2008), Beijing

2 / 17 Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), CCTV & TVCC Television Centres (2008), Beijing

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), CCTV & TVCC Television Centres (2008), Beijing

3 / 17 Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), CCTV & TVCC Television Centres (2008), Beijing

Steven Holl Architects, Linked Hybrid (2009), Beijing

4 / 17 Steven Holl Architects, Linked Hybrid (2009), Beijing

Paul Andreu, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), aka the Egg (2007), Beijing

5 / 17 Paul Andreu, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), aka the Egg (2007), Beijing

Herzog & De Meuron, National Stadium, aka the Bird's Nest (2007), Beijing

6 / 17 Herzog & De Meuron, National Stadium, aka the Bird's Nest (2007), Beijing

Herzog & De Meuron, National Stadium, aka the Bird's Nest (2007), Beijing

7 / 17 Herzog & De Meuron, National Stadium, aka the Bird's Nest (2007), Beijing

PTW Architects+CCDI+Arup, Watercube National Swimming Centre (2007), Beijing

8 / 17 PTW Architects+CCDI+Arup, Watercube National Swimming Centre (2007), Beijing

PTW Architects+CCDI+Arup, Watercube National Swimming Centre (2007), Beijing

9 / 17 PTW Architects+CCDI+Arup, Watercube National Swimming Centre (2007), Beijing

PTW Architects+CCDI+Arup, Watercube National Swimming Centre (2007), Beijing

10 / 17 PTW Architects+CCDI+Arup, Watercube National Swimming Centre (2007), Beijing

Iroje Architects & PArtners, Chaowai SOHO Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

11 / 17 Iroje Architects & PArtners, Chaowai SOHO Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

Iroje Architects & PArtners, Chaowai SOHO Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

12 / 17 Iroje Architects & PArtners, Chaowai SOHO Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

LAB architecture studio, SOHO Shangdu Residential and Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

13 / 17 LAB architecture studio, SOHO Shangdu Residential and Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

LAB architecture studio, SOHO Shangdu Residential and Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

14 / 17 LAB architecture studio, SOHO Shangdu Residential and Commercial Complex (2007), Beijing

Foster + Partners, Beijing Capital International Airport (2008), Beijing

15 / 17 Foster + Partners, Beijing Capital International Airport (2008), Beijing

Foster + Partners, Beijing Capital International Airport (2008), Beijing

16 / 17 Foster + Partners, Beijing Capital International Airport (2008), Beijing

Foster + Partners, Beijing Capital International Airport (2008), Beijing

17 / 17 Foster + Partners, Beijing Capital International Airport (2008), Beijing


Every important and influential architecture studio wants a piece of the building boom taking place in China right now and many of them have already made their mark. Zaha Hadid, Paul Andreu, Amateur Architecture Studio and TM Studios are just a few of the big names on an impressive list of architects that have completed large-scale projects in the country in recent years. 

With this in mind, it seems fitting that architecture’s answer to the Nobel Prize, the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, will be held in Beijing next year.

Since it was founded by Jay A. Pritzker and his wife Cindy in 1979 to recognise the talent and vision of a living architect, winners of the annual prize have hailed from 16 different nations and have included the likes of Ieoh Ming Pei in 1983 (China), Frank Gehry in 1989 (Canada), Zaha Hadid (the first woman to win the prize) in 2004, Richard Rogers in 2007 (Britain) and Jean Nouvel in 2008 (France). Winners get $100,000, a citation certificate and, since 1987, a bronze medal. Pre-1987 winners got a limited edition Henry Moore sculpture instead of the medal. The prize is voted on by Laureates, academics and critics.

Beijing currently boasts several buildings by previous winners of the Pritzker Prize including Norman Foster’s Beijing International Airport (2008), Rem Koolhaas’ CCTV Tower (2008) and Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium (2007). These are not only the city’s most jaw-dropping builds, but examples of some of this century’s most ground-breaking architectural design.

We took a look through the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture to remind ourselves of some of the amazing architectural projects that have taken place in Beijing in recent years, and have put a selection of the most impressive buildings in the city into a gallery (above). By flicking through the images you get an idea of the scale and grandeur or the architectural design taking place in this rapidly changing metropolis.

And we’re taking this opportunity to give away 3 copies of the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture Travel Edition. Enter here for your chance to win a copy.


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