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Monday28 July 2014

The designer of which of these buildings just won the USs richest architecture prize?

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The answer’s both. One is known as the bad boy of American architecture who “sees architecture as a contact sport”, the other is a tweed-wearing leader of the classical revival.

But Thom Mayne and Quinlain Terry shared the limelight this week as they scooped America’s most prestigious prizes in contemporary and classical architecture. And amid the celebrations, the rift between new and old in world architecture opened once more.

Mayne, 61, was awarded the $100,000 Pritzker Prize on Monday for his experimental architecture, originating from southern California, which saw him praised for avoiding the architectural influences of European modernism as well as American and Asian design. His practice’s headquarters building for California’s transport authority in Los Angeles (pictured top) was praised as part of an ouevre that represented “the will of an epoch translated into space”.

In Chicago, Terry picked up the Driehaus Prize, also $100,000, from a jury that included Leon Krier and Cambridge architectural historian David Watkin. They celebrated Terry’s Merchant Square at a recreation of Colonial Williamsburg, in Virginia (bottom), where each of the four buildings emphasise a different variation of the vernacular of Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia between 1699 and 1780.

Which do you prefer? Vote at www.bdonline. co.uk

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