Begun in 1979 by the Hyatt Hotels’ founding Pritzker family, the Pritzker Prize in architecture is considered to be the Nobel Prize for architects – in fact, if you Google “Nobel Prize architecture,” the Pritzker Prize is the first result. The prize is awarded annually for a body of work versus a single building. The first winner was Crescent Court architect Philip Johnson.
The 2019 winner is 87-year-old Japanese architect Arata Isozaki who was quoted as being “overjoyed,” adding with an impish grin, “it’s like a crown on a tombstone.” Isozaki grew up in post-war Japan where much of its buildings had been lost to war. His early career rode a second wave of rebuilding.