US architect Frank Gehry won Spain’s top annual arts award for decades spent creating eye-catching buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the prize jury said on Wednesday.
The 85-year-old Canadian-born architect was named winner of the 50,000-euro ($70 million) Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts for work that has “defined and driven architecture in the past half-century”, the jury said in its citation.
Among Gehry’s best-known creations is the Bilbao Guggenheim, a silver mass of curved titanium that dominates the center of the northern Spanish city, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
The jury hailed “the relevance and impact of his creations in numerous countries” and praised the “virtuoso play of complex forms” in his work and his “technological innovation”.
Gehry was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1929 but took US nationality after moving with his parents in 1947 to Los Angeles. He launched his own architecture firm there in
The Prince of Asturias Foundation hands its arts prize each year for “a significant contribution to the cultural heritage of mankind”, along with awards in seven other categories.
Previous winners of the arts prize include Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar, US singer Bob Dylan and British architect Norman Foster.
The awards are handed out by Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe in a ceremony broadcast live on Spanish television in October.