Until 1998, the architects honoured with the Pritzker represented all the different tendencies of the second half of the century except that of ‘high tech’. By including Renzo Piano in the list, the most prestigious prize has recognized the career of the Italian, but also a way of seeing and building architecture. Born in Genoa in 1937, Piano found in the technological curiosity and the artesanal passion of Jean Prouvé the model through which to channel his experimental drive. An energy which resulted in the rotund, optimistic machine of the Pompidou Center in Paris, realized with Richard Rogers, as much as the silent, delicate shed which houses the Menil Collection in Houston. Piano took up the thread of this Texan project again in the elegant Beyeler Museum in Basel, which after Kansai Airport in Japan is the best of his latest works. Among which one should include the offices for Daimler Benz in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, belonging to a group of ceramic-faced buildings, and the Kanak Center in New Caledonia, a monumental complex of wooden huts inspired by traditional buildings and modernized with glass, steel and aluminium.