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Sir David Chipperfield receives the 2023 Pritzker Architecture Prize

08 Mar 2023

Congratulations to Sir David Chipperfield, The Hepworth Wakefield's architect, who has been announced as winner of the 2023 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The prestigious annual architecture prize is known internationally as the profession’s highest honour.

When designing The Hepworth Wakefield, David Chipperfield Architects responded imaginatively to the gallery’s waterfront setting and industrial heritage of the site.

The design of the galleries allows the introduction of daylight through skylights and imposing floor-to-ceiling windows. The windows offer visitors wonderful views of the River Calder, important local landmarks such as the medieval Chantry Chapel and Wakefield Cathedral, and the Emley Moor Transmitting Station tower.

The building’s façades are constructed of pigmented concrete which was created in-situ. This gives the building a sculptural appearance, which echoes the shapes and forms in many of Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures.

David Chipperfield states:

“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. 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.”

Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said:

“Huge congratulations to Sir David Chipperfield and David Chipperfield Architects on being made 2023 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the architecture profession’s top prize. Wakefield Council were brave and imaginative in commissioning the building almost two decades ago – it showed world-class ambition and vision. It gave Wakefield something very special. It was a privilege watching it being built when I arrived in 2008. It’s a wonderful environment in which to work and for audiences to experience art. Crucially artists love it. It’s so inspiring how the quality of the architecture has hugely helped our work, reputation and brand.”

The Hepworth Wakefield is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Exhibition entry is £12 / £10 / FREE for Members, Wakefield District residents and under 18s. Ticket includes entry to all our gallery spaces on the day of visit.

Sir David Chipperfield, photo courtesy of Tom Welsh