Revered Australian architect Glenn Murcutt now holds one of the most important judiciary positions in the world of architecture as the new chairman of the Jury for the Pritzker Prize.
Murcutt is the only Australian to have won a Pritzker, considered to be the Nobel Prize of architecture, and has been a part of the program since 2010 when accepted an offer to sit on the Jury. Murcutt’s new appointment as the Jury Chair will see him take over from Englishman Lord Peter Palumbo who has held the position of chair since 2004 and overseen the judging of 11 Pritzker Prizes.
The appointment was made on 4 April at the ceremony awarding the 2016 laureate, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, who was announced as the winner of the latest Pritzker Prize back in January.
While there is no certainty on the duration of Murcutt’s position as the Jury Chair, generally Pritzker Jury members serve for multiple years to assure a balance between past and new members and are entrusted with selecting the laureate each year.
In 2015 Murcutt sat on the jury alongside U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Chinese architect Yung Ho Chang, German architecture curator Kristin Feireiss, 2007 Laureate Richard Rogers, Spanish architect Benedetta Tagliabue and Indian businessman Ratan N. Tata.
Each year the successful Laureate receives $100,000 and also a bronze medallion. The bronze medallion awarded to each Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize is based on designs of Louis Sullivan, famed Chicago architect generally acknowledged as the father of the skyscraper. On one side is the name of the prize. On the reverse, three words are inscribed, “firmness, commodity and delight,” recalling Roman architect Vitruvius' fundamental principles of architecture of firmitas, utilitas, venustas.