Pritzker Prize, officially The Pritzker Architecture Prize (prĬt´skər), award for excellence in architecture, given annually since 1979. Largely modeled on the Nobel Prize, it is the premier architectural award in the United States and is named for the family that founded the prize; it is awarded by the Chicago-based Hyatt Foundation. Philip Johnson was the first architect to be awarded the prize; other winners include James Stirling, I. M. Pei, Richard Meier, Oscar Niemeyer Soares, Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Rafael Moneo, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid (the first female recipient), Richard Rogers, and Jean Nouvel. See the table entitled Pritzker Architecture Prize Recipients for a list of the architects who have been awarded the prize.
See study by M. Thorne (1999).