Today, the names of the new Praemium Imperiale Laureates were announced in London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, New York and Tokyo. The 5 recipients in their respective fields are Ricardo Legorreta (Architecture, Mexico), Anish Kapoor (Sculpture, UK), Bill Viola (Painting, USA), Seiji Ozawa (Music, Japan), and Judi Dench (Theater/Film, UK). The 2011 Grant for Young Artists has been shared by The Royal Court Young Writers Programme (London) and the Southbank Sinfonia (London).
Ricardo Legorreta is Mexico’s most significant living architect. He combines the traditions of Western modernism with the building culture of his native country. Vibrant color, geometric shapes, fountains, light-filled spaces, and intimate courtyards are hallmarks of his style.
In a career spanning nearly fifty years and with more than 100 design projects to his name he has created a diverse body of work. It ranges from museums and hotels to office buildings and factories, university campuses to urban spaces, as well as private residences in Mexico and abroad.
Legorreta was born in 1931 in Mexico City, where he studied architecture. After a partnership with José Villagrán, he set up his own practice.
He was a close friend of his compatriot, Luis Barragán, who first combined modernism and Mexican tradition in the 1940s and 50s. He was also influenced by the monumental concrete architecture of Louis Kahn. Influences from Mexico’s colonial period and from the Islamic world – the patios - also feature in his work.
Here just a few selected buildings from Legorreta's long-spanning career: