Winners of 2023 Jane Drew and Ada Louise Huxtable Prizes Announced

John Hill
1. February 2023
Kazuyo Sejima on opening day of SANAA's River Building at Grace Farms in October 2015 (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)
Jane Drew Prize

The award recognizes "an architectural designer who, through their work and commitment to design excellence, has raised the profile of women in architecture." AJ and AR announced the winner at the end of last week, describing Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima as “one of too few female architects to have established themselves on the international stage.” Manon Mollard, editor of The Architectural Review, continued: “Her courage, tenacity and success are critical reminders that it is possible.”

Before starting SANAA in 1995 in Tokyo with Ryue Nishizawa, Sejima worked in the office of Toyo Ito and founded her own office, Kazuyo Sejima & Associates, in 1987. Sejima and Nishizawa, uniquely, maintain their individual, eponymous offices while also operating together as SANAA, the latter mainly for cultural projects. The pair are the 2010 laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and last year they received the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale.

SANAA buildings of note are numerous, including the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, though most of them are found outside of Japan: the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Grace Farms River Building in Connecticut, the Rolex Learning Center at EPFL in Lausanne, Louvre-Lens Museum in France, and the Sydney Modern expansion that opened in December. In particular, the AR/AJ announcement singled out the last two projects.

Named after architect Jane Drew, "a spirited advocate for women in a male-dominated profession," Sejima is the twelfth winner of the annual prize that was established in 2012. Previous recipients include Farshid Moussavi (2022), Kate Macintosh (2021), Yasmeen Lari (2020), Elizabeth Diller (2019), Amanda Levete (2018), Denise Scott Brown (2017), and Odile Decq (2016).

Ada Louise Huxtable Prize

Announced at the same time as the Jane Drew Prize, Canadian architect, critic and conservation activist Phyllis Lambert is the 2023 recipient of the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize for Contribution to Architecture, which "recognizes individuals working in the wider architectural industry who have made a significant contribution to architecture and the built environment." Eleanor Beaumont, deputy editor of The Architectural Review, said that “Lambert encourages us to always be curious.”

Lambert is best known as the founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. She established the CCA as “a new type of cultural institution” in 1979 and opened it exactly ten years later at the western end of downtown, in a renovated townhouse connected to a new building designed by Peter Rose with Lambert. Lambert retired from the CCA in 1999, but the institution, which also has a park and sculpture garden, continues to produce exhibitions and publications, and is considered one of the most important architectural archives in the world.

Decades before establishing CCA, in the 1950s, Lambert worked with Mies van der Rohe on the Seagram Building, a defining moment in her life and a tale she recounted in the 2013 book Building Seagram. Lambert, née Bronfman as daughter of Seagram's founder Samuel Bronfman, was pivotal in getting Mies hired for the now iconic modern office building (a 1954 letter to her father says “emphatically NO NO NO NO NO” in regards to going with another architect). Lambert was the subject of the 2007 one-hour documentary Citizen Lambert: Joan of Architecture.

Named after Ada Louise Huxtable, the first full-time architecture critic at a US newspaper and the first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Lambert is the ninth winner of the annual prize. Previous recipients include artist Mona Hatoum (2022), educator Lesley Lokko (2021), historian Beatriz Colomina (2020), photographer Hélène Binet (2019), artist and illustrator Madelon Vriesendorp (2018), sculptor Rachel Whiteread (2017), curator Julia Peyton-Jones (2016), and patron Jane Priestman (2015).

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