AAJ Press
A&AJ Critical Writing, Architecture & Design

Ricardo Legoretta. 2011 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture

Ricardo Legorreta, Mexico’s leading living architect whose design blends modernism with his country’s own tradition and culture, has been honoured as recipient of the 2011 Praemium Imperiale for Architecture. Mexico, has had a profound influence on his work, physically, mentally and spiritually fusing the building culture of Western modernism with contemporary Latin and traditional pre-Columbian design elements. Legoretta ‘designs the building from the inside’ and his architectural signature incorporates vibrant colour, geometric shapes, fountains, light-filled spaces and Moorish courtyards.

He has completed over 100 buildings including the MARCO Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey (1991); the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua in Nicaragua (1994); “an inspiring symbol of affirmation for the future of Los Angeles”, Pershing Square, California (1994); the Library of San Antonio in Texas (1995), Juarez Complex, Mexico City (2005); Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (2008); Los Tecorrales House, Valle de Bravo, Mexico (2010); as well as residential projects in Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica.

Previous Praemium Imperiale laureates for architecture: Ieoh Ming Pei, James Stirling, Gae Aulenti, Frank Gehry, Kenzo Tange, Charles Correa, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, Richard Meier, Alvaro Siza, Fumihiko Maki,  Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer, Yoshio Taniguchi, Frei Otto, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Peter Zumthor,  Zaha Hadid and Toyo Ito.

The other Praemium Imperiale 2011 award winners are: Dame Judi Dench (Theatre/film), Anish Kapoor (Sculpture), Bill Viola (Painting) and Seiji Ozawa (Music).

The Praemium Imperiale is a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art Association, the oldest cultural foundation in Japan, founded in 1887. It was established to mark the centennial of the Japan Art Association and to honour the wish of the late Prince Takamatsu, its Honorary Patron for 58 years, “to contribute to enhancing and promoting the cultures and arts of the world”. Five Praemium Imperiale Awards in the categories of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music and Theatre/film have been made every year since its inauguration in 1989 to honour individuals from all over the world who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the arts. Each Laureate will receive an honorarium of 15 million yen (c. £115,000), a diploma and a medal. In addition, the Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists for 2011, of 5 million yen (c. £36,000), has been jointly awarded to the Southbank Sinfonia, a young musicians’ orchestra, and the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers Programme, for their work in nurturing young talent.



About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: