NEW YORK -- West German architect Gottfried Boehm was named Thursday as winner of the $100,000 Pritzker Prize, regarded as the Nobel Prize for architecture, in ceremonies at the Museum of Modern Art.
The tax-free prize was given to Boehm, 66, by Jay A. Pritzker of Chicago, president of the Hyatt Foundation which established the prize in 1979. The Cologne-based architect has worked primarily in Europe and is little known in the United States.
Boehm is recognized as a foremost expressionist architect in the post-Bauhaus style whose town halls, churches, theaters, museums and public housing are scattered throughout Germany. Several of his buildings are constructed in the ruins of older structures or adjacent to historic structures and fuse the old with new building technology.
'I think the future of architecture does not lie so much in continuing to fill up the landscape, as in bringing back life and order to our cities and towns,' Boehm said in summing up his architectural philosophy.
Among his oustanding buildings are the Church of the Pilgrimate at Neviges, the Bensberg town hall, the Prague Square buildings in West Berlin, a pavilion for the Stuttgart Opera House, Zueblin House, a corporate headquarters in Stuttgart, the Bergisch-Gladbach Civic Center and the Rheinberg municipal building.
Boehm, the son, grandson, husband and father of architects, has been active for 40 years and a retrospective collection of his architectural drawings now is touring the United States and will open at the Graham Foundation in Chicago April 28. He was appointed to the Cret Chair of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania earlier this year.
The award trophy, a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, will be presented to Boehm at Goldsmiths' Hall in London on May 7. Previous winners of the prize have been Philip Johnson, I.M. Pei, Kevin Roche and Richard Meier of the United States, Luis Barragan of Mexico, James Stirling of Great Britain and Hans Hollein of Austria.