Chinese architect Wang Shu wins 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Chinese architect Wang Shu, whose buildings have been praised for their commanding presence and focus on the environment, won the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize on Monday.

The 48-year-old architect joins Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano and Eduardo Souto de Moura in receiving the honor that's been called architecture's Nobel Prize, the Associated Press reported.

Wang is the first Chinese architect to receive the honor.

The prize recognizes his work in museums, libraries, apartment buildings and his overall impact on design in China.

The formal ceremony, for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor, will take place in Beijing on May 25. Laureates receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion.

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In announcing the jury’s choice, Thomas J. Pritzker said “the fact that an architect from China has been selected by the jury, represents a significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals. In addition, over the coming decades China’s success at urbanization will be important to China and to the world.”

The prize not only honors Wang Shu but recognizes China's current and future role in architecture and urbanization.

““This is really a big surprise. I suddenly realized that I’ve done many things over the last decade," Wang Shu said. "It proves that earnest hard work and persistence lead to positive outcomes.”

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