Herzog & de Meuron
With these awards the Japan Art Association pays tribute every year to the work of five artists who have made significant contributions in the fields of sculpture, painting, music, theater/film and architecture respectively. In this edition, the jury, which includes advisors the likes of Jacques Chirac or Helmut Schmidt, has given the award (endowed with $140,000) in this last category to the architects Herzog & de Meuron. Since their modest beginnings in Basel in 1978, the Swiss studio has been in charge of some of the most influential architectural projects of recent years, such as the Tate Modern in London, the Dominus Winery in California, the Allianz Arena in Munich or the National Stadium for the Olympic Games in Beijing. Tokyo, home to the association that grants these prizes, is also the site of one of the team’s most noteworthy projects, the Prada building in Aoyama, an object of delicate making and crystalline form that sums up well the concern of the authors for experimentation with different materials, the expressiveness of skins and the desire to offer citizens quality public spaces.