The Japan Art Association announced today that Steven Holl, FAIA, has won the 2014 Praemium Imperiale. The award is a global arts prize bestowed annually since 1989 to candidates from five fields not recognized by the Nobel Prize: Architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and theater/film. Artists are recognized for a career spent enriching the global arts community, and each receives 15 million yen (just shy of $150,000) and a medal, which will be presented at a ceremony in Tokyo on October 15. The Japan Art Association describes Holl’s philosophy toward practice as being made up of three parts: anchoring, or connection to the site; idea, or the design itself; and Phenomenon, or, as Holl describes it in a release, “the experience of the light and space and texture" of a place.
"I'm doubly grateful for this award because architecture is part of painting, sculpture, and music,” Holl said in a release, “With this award, the Japan Art Association recognizes all of the arts. Second, because my first chances as an architect and my first publication invitations came from Japan, and my first substantial construction was in Fukuoka, Japan in 1989, so I'm very grateful to come back to Japan for this important award."
Holl joins an impressive list of past laureates that include inaugural winner I.M. Pei, FAIA, Frank Gehry, FAIA (1992), Kenzo Tange (1993), Tadao Ando, Hon. FAIA (1996), Alvaro Siza (1998), Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA (2003), Frei Otto (2006), Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA (2009), and Toyo Ito, Hon. FAIA (2010). This year’s other winners include Giuseppe Penone (sculpture), Martial Raysse (painting), Arvo Pärt (music), and Athol Fugard (theater/film).
The Japan Art Association released the following video (in Japanese), which mentions Holl at 1:24 -