Portuguese Architect Souto de Moura Wins 2011 Pritzker Prize

Portugal’s Eduardo Souto de Moura, who has designed soccer stadiums, museums and office towers in his home country, is the winner of this year Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest honor for architects.

Among his best-known buildings are the soccer stadium in Braga, Portugal, where European soccer teams fought for the championship in 2004; and the 20-story Burgo Tower office block in his native city of Porto, built in 2007. Souto de Moura, 58, has also built family homes, cinemas, shopping centers and hotels and since setting up his own office in 1980.

Jury Chairman Peter Palumbo said Souto de Moura “has produced a body of work that is of our time but also carries echoes of architectural traditions,” according to a statement today from the Hyatt Foundation, which awards the prize.

“He has the confidence to use stone that is a thousand years old or to take inspiration from a modern detail by Mies van der Rohe,” the statement said.

Souto de Moura worked for fellow Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza for five years before founding his own company. Siza won the Pritzker Prize in 1992.

Other previous winners of the prize, which is worth $100,000, include Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry. The Hyatt Foundation established the prize in 1979 to honor a living architect.

To contact the writer on the story: Catherine Hickley in Berlin at chickley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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