Norman Foster (Manchester, 1935). The indisputable vision.
Recognised with the Prince of Asturias award in the Arts category in 2009 and with the Pritzker prize in 1999 (the most prestigious architecture award), Norman Foster stands out for his innovation and aesthetics. His most famous projects include Peking’s new airport, the Caja Madrid Tower and Bilbao’s underground station. His most ambitious design is the world’s biggest building: Crystal Island, a Moscovite micro-city occupying an area of 2.5 million square metres within a 450 metres
Peter Zumthor (Basel, 1943). Experiences through the senses.
The work of this 2009 Pritzker prize winner is dominated by the materials. With them, Zumthor designs experiences, rather than spaces, in which the senses play a leading role, like in his Therme Vals in Switzerland.
Rem Koolhaas (Rotterdam, 1944). Sculptural architecture.
Winner of the Pritzker prize in 2000, Koolhaas plays with volumes in his projects, such as in the new Central Chinese Television Headquarters: a continuous loop of interconnected blocks which defies equilibrium. Spectacular.
4.- Frank Gehry (Toronto, 1929). The curve as insignia.
Gehry approaches his buildings as works of art. His unmistakable curves can be found in designs like the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Auditorium in Los Angeles. He received the Pritzker prize in 1989.
5.- Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (Basel, 1950, both). The Masters of volume.
These partners, winners of the Pritzker prize in 2001, are surprising for their ability to reinvent architectural elements. Their most recent projects include Birds’ Nest and the Beijing National Stadium.
6.- Zaha Hadid (Baghdad, 1950). Architectural dreams.
The only woman to receive the Pritzker prize (2004) is daring. Her designs play with weightlessness and shapes in movement. Her Opus, in Dubai, is a cube whose centre melts into a void.
7.- Renzo Piano (Genoa, 1937). Technology with an Italian accent.
The prolific work of this 1998 Pritzker prize winner combines the latest technology with cultural influences of his homeland. His recent projects include the new head offices of the New York Times.
8.- Richard Rogers (Florence, 1933). The T4 architect.
He was awarded the Pritzker prize in 2007, shortly after completing one of his best projects: Terminal 4 of Madrid’s Barajas Airport, which summarises his style: brightness, technology and materials.
9.- Tadao Ando (Osaka, 1941). Concrete and nature.
Modernity and Japanese tradition. The 1995 Pritzker prize winner uses smooth concrete and the inclusion of the natural environment as his identity marks. A good example is his Church on the Water, in Hokkaido.
10.- Rafael Moneo (Tudela, 1937). A vision in each project.
Different in each project is the best way to describe this winner of the 1996 Pritzker prize, as we can see in his extension of the Prado Museum and his recent Science Building of Columbia University in New York.