Chinese architect Wang Shu has been named recipient of the 2012 Pritzker Prize.

The announcement was made yesterday in Los Angeles by Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation (which sponsors the prize, known as the world’s highest achievement and honour in architecture). 

‘Wang Shu’s work stands out for its combination of sculptural power and contextual sensitivity,’ says architect Zaha Hadid, a Pritzker Prize jury member. ‘His transformative use of ancient materials and motifs is highly original and stimulating.’

Shu studied architecture at the Nanjing Institute of Technology and only a year after graduating in 1985, he was working on his first project: a 3600-sq-m Youth Center for in Haining (near Hangzhou). In 1997 he and his wife, Lu Wenyu, founded their own firm, Amateur Architecture Studio, in Hangzhou.

Since then, Shu’s major works have included the following projects in China: Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum Ningbo (2005), Teaching Building of Music and Dance Department Dongguan (2005), Xiangshan Campus, China Academy of Art (2007), Vertical Courtyard Apartments Hangzhou (2007), Ningbo History Museum  (2008), Shanghai Expo Ningbo Tengtou Pavilion (2010) and the City Cultural Center of Jinghua (under construction).

In 2009, journalist Bert de Muynck interviewed Shu for the cover story article of Mark #19. Click here to order the issue.

The formal award ceremony will be held 25 May, where Shu will be given his $100,000 grant and bronze medallion.

The Pritzker Prize was founded in 1979 by Jay A. Pritzker and his wife, Cindy, to honour a living architect whose talent, vision and commitment strengthens the art of architecture.