The 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony will be held in Beijing, China in May, 2012.
Guo Jinlong, the Mayor of Beijing, China and Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation jointly made the announcement last week.
It is the first time in its 34 year history that the event will take place in China; Pritzker noted that is was appropriate, given so many of the laureates have projects there, either in work or completed, including Zaha Hadid, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster.
The list also includes 1983 laureate, Leoh Ming Pei.
Pritzker said: “Over the three decades of prize-giving, we have held ceremonies in fourteen different countries, in venues ranging from the White House in Washington DC to Todai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan.
"The tradition of moving the event to world sites of architectural significance was established to emphasize that the prize is international, the laureates having been chosen from 16 different nations to date. This will be our 34th event marking the first time we have gone to China.”
Mayor Guo Jinlong said, “The Pritzker Architecture Prize is the most recognized award in the architectural field throughout the world.
"We believe holding this event in Beijing will further raise the awareness of the Pritzker Prize in China, and promote the development of the architectural industry in Beijing and China as a whole.
"Hosting the ceremony in Beijing will also attract many globally reputable architecture firms and architects to participate in building Beijing as the most liveable city and famous cultural capital.”
The specific building to be used for the ceremony in Beijing is still under consideration, but the category of the site to be chosen is likely to be of historic significance.
In addition to the White House and Todai-ji Temple, past sites have included France’s Palace of Versailles and Grand Trianon; Prague Castle in The Czech Republic.
Beijing's national stadium was designed by Pritzker laureates Herzog & de Meuron. Image © wojtek gurak
The announcement comes as Pritzker laureate Frank Gehry recently pointed to Asia as lucrative destination for work, while the US economy lags.
Australian firms also continue making inroads into the key market, a recent high profile move being Denton Corker Marshall signing a major contract in China.
Melbourne mayor Robert Doyle and a vice mayor of Beijing witnessed a commercial agreement between Denton Corker Marshall and one of China’s influential real estate developers earlier this month.