The Pritzker Prize, the world’s highest distinction in architecture, was awarded Tuesday to Japanese Riken Yamamoto, renowned for his work combining architecture and social concerns, according to the Chicago-based organization.

“Riken Yamamoto, architect and social activist” works towards “harmonious societies despite the diversity of identities, economies, politics, infrastructure and housing”, welcomed in a press release the organizers of the Pritzker Prize, often compared to the “ Nobel Prize” for architecture.

“For me, recognizing (the existence of a) space is a recognition of an entire community,” declared in the press release the winner born in 1945 in Beijing but who emigrated to Yokohama in Japan after the Second World War.

“The current approach to architecture emphasizes privacy while denying the need for social relationships. We can, however, continue to respect the freedom of each individual while living together in an architectural space, like a Republic that forges harmony between cultures and stages of life,” argued Mr. Yamamoto cited by the organizers of the Pritzker Prize.

Riken Yamamoto was chosen “first of all because he reminds us that in matters of architecture, as in democracy, spaces must be created by the determination of populations,” judged the jury of the prestigious award cited in a communicated.

“His architecture clearly expresses his faith in modular structures and the simplicity of its forms. It does not dictate anything but allows people to shape their lives in real estate complexes with elegance, normality, poetry and joy,” the jurors further argued.

The majority of Yamamoto’s works and architectural ensembles are located in Japan but also in Zurich, Switzerland and China.

Riken Yamamoto succeeds the British David Chipperfield in 2023 who was crowned after the Burkinabe architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, the first representative of an African country to receive the prestigious award.