Architecture: Norman Foster: Lifting The Spirit

Britain's Sir Norman Foster wins the Pritzker for his innovative, humane designs around the world

The annual Pritzker Prize--$100,000 plus a gold medal--is by far the most prestigious award in architecture today. It is like the Nobels for literature or for the promotion of peace, though not as hotly debated, there being no architectural equivalent to Dario Fo--still less to Rigoberta Menchu. It is given not for promise but to uphold the ideal of excellence. Twenty men (but no women) have received it since Philip Johnson got the first one in 1979; they range from Mexico's Luis Barragan to Italy's Renzo Piano, from Britain's James Stirling to America's Frank Gehry. This year's laureate, announced this week,...

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