An International Architecture Prize "for significant contributions to the environment and the quality of living" has been established by the Hyatt Foundation in Chicago.
The winner, who will be announced next April or May, will be chosen, "without regard to nationality, race, ideology or religion," by five prominent jurors, including British art historian Sir Kenneth Clark, and will receive $75,000.
"I consider it important that architectural genius be recognized and honored," Clark said as he announced the award. "Painters sign their pictures. Writers have their names on their books. But architecture is depersonalized. People rarely know who the architect is when they look at building."
Clark does not consider architectural genius abundant these days. "I do not believe we will find more than two or three architects worthy of the prize," he said.
Other jurors include Yale architecture dean Cesar Pelli, Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and Mexican architect Louis Barragon. Arthur Drechsler of the New York Museum of Modern Art is the jury's professional adviser. and art consultant Carlton Smith is the jury secretary.
The architecture prize jury will make its selection from among 100 architects nominated by as many jury advisers from all over the world.
The Hyatt Foundation, which has given substantial contributions to the medical sciences, is considering similar international prizes in the visual arts, music, communications, archeology and art criticism.