2023 Pritzker Prize goes to David Chipperfield

The 2023 Pritzker Prize, one of the architecture field’s most prestigious honours, has been awarded to David Chipperfield

David Chipperfield, the 2023 Pritzker Prize winner, inside the Royal Academy's Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries
David Chipperfield, the 2023 Pritzker Prize winner, inside the Royal Academy's Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries in 2018
(Image credit: Annabel Elston)

David Chipperfield has been awarded the 2023 Pritzker Prize, it has just been announced. The prestigious accolade, one of the field's highest international honours, marks the British architect's continuous and expansive work over four decades and celebrates his 'commitment to an architecture of understated but transformative civic presence', the jury stated. 

Master of memory, context and minimalism, Sir David Alan Chipperfield cut his teeth in London – studying at the Architectural Association, then working at the offices of Norman Foster and Richard Rogers. He opened his own office in London in 1985, and later became known for his work in Germany, where he completed a remarkable renovation of the Neues Museum on Berlin’s Museum Island in 2009. A respect for history, urbanism and landscaping brings a wholesome slant to the architect's minimalist architecture and modernist aesthetic.

Black and white portrait of artist David Chipperfield

(Image credit: Ingrid von Kruse)

2023 Pritzker Prize winner: David Chipperfield

The British architect's London office may be the international studio’s flagship, but the multi-award-winning practice’s presence spreads evenly across different territories, with busy outposts in Berlin, Milan, Shanghai, and Santiago de Compostela. Each has its own slew of projects – including the recently completed global Akris retail concept, Cava Arcari in North Italy, the Bryant in New York, the James-Simon-Galerie in Berlin, the extension for London’s Royal Academy of Arts, and the Xixi Wetland Estate in China. 

Each of Chipperfield’s designs is marked by consideration for the environmental and historical impact of his work – and his portfolio spans every architectural typology, from residential to cultural, and from commercial to temporary and product design. His architecture always balances a pared-down sense of minimalism and refinement, with warmth and textured materiality that transform even the simplest shapes into quietly powerful, vibrant hubs for life. 

James Simon Galerie, Germany

The James-Simon-Galerie, Berlin

(Image credit: Simon Menges)

The 2023 Pritzker Prize's jury citation praised Chipperfield for his approach and output: 'This commitment to an architecture of understated but transformative civic presence and the definition – even through private commissions – of the public realm, is done always with austerity, avoiding unnecessary moves and steering clear of trends and fashions, all of which is a most relevant message to our contemporary society. Such a capacity to distill and perform meditated design operations is a dimension of sustainability that has not been obvious in recent years: sustainability as pertinence not only eliminates the superfluous but is also the first step to creating structures able to last, physically and culturally.'

cava arcari in the caves outside vicenza

Cava Arcari, Italy

(Image credit: Simon Menges)

The 2023 Pritzker Prize is the culmination of a long and lauded career for David Chipperfield. He has already received, among other accolades, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal (2011), and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – the Mies van der Rohe Award (2011). He was the curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale n 2012, and the architectural mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in 2016–2017. He was also appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004, knighted in 2010 and appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour in 2021. 

The Bryant, which will be completed in Manhattan in 2017

The Bryant, New York

(Image credit: press)

'I am so overwhelmed to receive this extraordinary honour and to be associated with the previous recipients, who have all given so much inspiration to the profession,' said Chipperfield. 'I take this award as an encouragement to continue to direct my attention not only to the substance of architecture and its meaning but also to the contribution that we can make as architects to address the existential challenges of climate change and societal inequality. We know that, as architects, we can have a more prominent and engaged role in creating not only a more beautiful world but a fairer and more sustainable one too. We must rise to this challenge and help inspire the next generation to embrace this responsibility with vision and courage.'

bright interiors in concept store in washington, by david chipperfield for akris

The Akris concept store in Washington

(Image credit: Alberto Parise)

This year's prize announcement follows last year’s recognition of Diébédo Francis Kéré, and that of 2021 joint laureates, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal – and sees Chippefield join the group of highly respected architects from across the globe to have been honoured since the Pritzker's creation in 1979.

The 2023 Pritzker Prize ceremony, where Chipperfield will be formally presented with his award, will be held in Athens, Greece, in May 2023.

Beautiful natural picture.

XiXi Wetland Estate, China

(Image credit: Simon Menges)

Chipperfield West Bund Museum

West Bund Museum, Shanghai

(Image credit: Simon Menges)

San Michele island cemetery by David Chipperfield Architects

San Michele island cemetery, Venice

(Image credit: Mattia Balsamini)

Neues Museum

The Neues Museum in Berlin

(Image credit: TBC)


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).