Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa standing in front of the building they designed for the Zollverein School, Essen, Germany, 2006 (Photo: Thomas Mayer/arcspace.com)

A usually melancholy springtime ritual for lovers of the building art is the announcement of the latest winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. Thus the revelation of this year’s surprise winners—Kazuyo Sejima, 53, and Ryue Nishizawa, 43, principals of the Tokyo firm SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates)—has been cause for rejoicing among those who treasure the honorees’ delicately calibrated and deeply humane sensibility. They are further unusual in architecture as a female-male pairing not married to one another, and rarer still, one in which the senior partner is a woman.


Martin Filler
New York Review of Books