Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture 2003


León Krier

On 22 March, the inaugural Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture was presented to Léon Krier in a ceremony held at the Art Institute of Chicago. Founded by the businessman Richard H. Driehaus with the University of Notre Dame, and furnishing a $100,000 grant, this prize is already considered an alternative to the Pritzker and to the modern bias of its awardees. As an antithesis to these figures emerges that of Léon Krier, main referent of the New Urbanism for his defense of traditional architecture and the preindustrial city, that has led him to reject both The Athens Charter and Venturi’s Las Vegas. Born in Luxembourg in 1946, Krier studied in Stuttgart and worked with James Stirling between 1968 and 1974. Professor at the Royal College of Arts in London, Princeton and Yale, among other institutions, from 1988 he is the advisor of the Prince of Wales in architectural matters and his sponsorship has enabled him to carry out the new town of Poundbury, in Dorset; however, the project that best sums up his aspirations is ‘Atlantis’, the humanist arcadia of social harmony and formal perfection which he designed for Tenerife. 

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