Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 1992
The Prize Committee for Arts (Architecture) has unanimously decided that the Prize for 1992 be equally divided among: Frank O. Gehry ,Frank O. Gehry and Denys Lasdun.
“His architecture, rooted in deep reading of human cultures, has given shape to processes of ritual and assembly in forms of haunting presence.”
Although each deserves the prize alone, it was felt that their creative stature would be identified best through comparison; even through the actual contrast of diverse and opposite qualities. Three men, three leaders, three permanent references in the wavering research of modern architecture. Humanly, psychologically and in their forms, they are very different. But they have one thing in common: the consistency of looking for ever extended fields of freedom.
Jorn Utzon is a master of the so called ‘Third Generation’ of modern architects: with buildings such as the Sydney Opera House or the Bagsvaerd Church, he has given shape to the processes of ritual and assembly in forms of haunting presence. While personal in character, his architecture is rooted into deep reading of human cultures and a quest for “constants”, he strives for certain quality of universality. Utzon is also one of the few modern architects to have grappled successfully with the whole range of building tasks from the scale of the individual dwelling, through that of the community to that of the civic or religious monument.
Three architects, three architectural languages, three different positions in space, time and architectural tradition – but three reminders as well in a period which suffers from the facile reuse of images, that the art of architecture can aspire to qualities existing well beyond the range of passing fashion – qualities that enhance use, transform construction, intensify meaning and liberate the mind.