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Glenn Murcutt named laureate of 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture

Australia Architecture News - Sep 20, 2021 - 17:25   1167 views

Glenn Murcutt named laureate of 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture

Australian architect Glenn Murcutt has been named as the laureate of 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture Award for Architecture.

The names of the four Praemium Imperiale Laureates were announced on September 14, 2021, by the Japan Art Association (JAA). The award is given annually to artists who are recognized and awarded for their achievements, for the impact they have had internationally on the arts, and for their role in enriching the global community.

In 2020, the awards of Praemium Imperiale were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Glenn Murcutt named laureate of 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture

Australian Islamic Centre, 2016, Melbourne, Australia. Image © Anthony Browell

The other recipients awarded are Sebastião Salgado from Brazil/France for Painting, James Turrell from USA for Sculpture, Yo-Yo Ma from USA for Music.

"In Theatre/Film, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of candidates were unable to meet the requirements for the award, and therefore “No recipient” was selected this year," stated the Japan Art Association.

The acclaimed Australian architect and the designer of 2019 MPavilion Glenn Murcutt has been named as the recipient of the 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture.

Glenn Murcutt named laureate of 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture

Glenn Murcutt at Kempsey Farmhouse, New South Wales, Australia. Image © Anthony Browell

In a statement, Glenn Murcutt was described as "an architect ahead of his time – an architect who has spent his career creating modest, environmentally-responsible buildings rooted in the climate and tradition of his native Australia."

"Echoing the Aboriginal phrase, “Touch the land lightly", his architecture has a poetic beauty and lightness, in harmony with nature while at the same time, the rationality of modernist architecture and ecological wisdom shine through."

Murcutt was born in London, he spent his childhood in Papua New Guinea, studied architecture at university in Australia, starting a private practice in Sydney in 1969.

Glenn Murcutt named laureate of 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture

Simpson-Lee House, Mount Wilson (1988­–93). Image © Anthony Browell

"He works primarily as a solo practitioner, allowing him to create "uncompromising work". He also prefers to work without computers, drawing freehand, finding solutions to design issues instinctively," stated in a press release. 

His earliest commissions included private houses; Marie Short House (1974) being one of his most celebrated. More recent works include public projects such as the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre (1999), designed with architects, Wendy Lewin and Reginald Lark and the Australian Islamic Centre (2016), undertaken with architect, Hakan Elevli. 

Glenn Murcutt named laureate of 2021 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture

Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, 1999, New South Wales, Australia. Image © Anthony Browell, courtesy of TOTO Publishing

Glenn’s recent works include the Australian Islamic Centre in Newport, Victoria, undertaken in collaboration with architect Hakan Elevli, Australian Islamic Center in Melbourne, the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre at Riversdale, New South Wales, designed with architects Wendy Lewin and Reg Lark; the Simpson-Lee House, Mount Wilson, New South Wales, and the Marie Short House, North Coast, New South Wales.

Murcutt is the first Australian to receive the Praemium Imperiale.

Glenn Murcutt also designed the 2019 MPavilion in the Queen Victoria Gardens, commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

In 2019, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien were announced as laureates of 2019 Praemium Imperiale. In 2018, Christian De Portzamparc was named as 2018 Praemium Imperiale laureate. 

Top image: Glenn Murcutt. Image © Anthony Browell

> via Japan Art Association