Architecture Update: French first for dollars 100,000 prize

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The Independent Culture
CHRISTIAN de Portzamparc has become the first French architect to win the dollars 100,000 international Pritzker prize, architecture's equivalent of the Nobel prize. The 50-year-old architect's most important work to date is the Cite de la Musique at La Villette, Paris, although many visitors to the city will be more familiar with his Cafe Beaubourg, adjacent to the Pompidou Centre. The Cite de la Musique, one of Francois Mitterrand's last 'grand projets', incorporates new premises for the National Conservatoire of Music on the west side (already in operation) and a major new public auditorium and music museum on the east side, due to open next January.

The jury said Portzamparc 'draws on French cultural tradition while paying homage to the master architect and countryman, Le Corbusier. It is a lyrical architecture that takes great risks and evokes excitement from its audience. Portzamparc is a high-wire artist with sure and confident footwork.'

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