De Portzamparc is one of five winners of the prestigious art award, which is awarded annually in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music and theatre/film.
This is the 30th year that the architecture prize has been awarded, with previous laureates including Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid and David Chipperfield. Last year’s winner was Spanish architect Rafael Moneo.
The French architect is best known for his cultural projects including the Cidade das Artes in Rio de Janeiro, a museum dedicated to Belgian artist and Tintin author Hergé in Belgium, and the Philharmonie Luxembourg.
“His imaginative architectural style is known for its distinctive features and its bold designs – an artistic approach and a creativity that comes from his passion for art,” said the prize organisers.
“He is recognised as an architect who puts more importance on the interaction between urban space and its users.”
De Portzamparc, 74, was the first French architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, he studied architecture at the École Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris.
He gained prominence with his Les Hautes Formes housing project in Paris, which was completed in 1979, and went on to design the City of Music in Paris that was built between 1984 to 1995.
His practice is currently working on a theatre in Casablanca, an opera house in Shanghai and the Suzhou Cultural Centre both in China.
The Praemium Imperiale prizes have been awarded annually to cover fields of achievement not currently represented by the Nobel Prizes. Alongside De Portzamparc, the other winners of this year’s prizes were Catherine Deneuve, Riccardo Muti, Pierre Alechinsky and Fujiko Nakaya.
Each laureate will receive their award, along with ¥15 million – approximately £101,000 – at a presentation in October.
As well as the Praemium Imperiale awards, a Grant for Young Artists of £33,000 was awarded to the Shakespeare Schools Foundation – a British education charity.
Main image is by Hufton + Crow.
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