Aldo Van Eyck
Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 1997/8
The Prize Committee for Architecture has unanimously decided that the Wolf Prize for 1997/8 be jointly awarded to Architect Aldo Van Eyck and Architect Frei Otto.
Architect Aldo Van Eyck
Amsterdam, The Netherland
“for their fundamental structural contributions to the advancement of contemporary architecture as a social and technical art form in the evolution of theTwentieth Century.”
Professor Aldo van Eyck, studied at ETH Zurich from 1938 to 1943 and then worked for the Public Works Department from 1946-1950. He opened his own office in 1952 and eight years later designed his canonical children’s orphanage in Amsterdam which was based on a form of cellular aggregation more commonly found in pre-industrial, vernacular culture than in the main stream of European architecture.
Influenced in some measure by certain tribal settlement patterns in North America – in particular the Dogon Society – van Eyck founded the school of Structural Rationalism, a movement that was to find a particular following in Holland. This approach was centered around the magazine Forum, which he edited from 1959 to 1967, and the School of Architecture of the Technical University of Delft, which he served as a professor throughout his career. These two centers of influence gained him a wide following among a younger generation of Dutch architects, including Piet Blom, Herman Hertzberger and Theo Bosch. At the age of 78, he continues active practice today, in partnership with his wife Hannie van Eyck.