SANAA Left to right: Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima

Louvre-Lens, Lens, France © SANAA, Tim Culbert + Celia Imrey / IMREY CULBERT, Catherine Mosbach

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa © SANAA

Rolex Learning Center, Lausanne, Switzerland © SANAA

The architectural team

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

Founded in 1995, SANAA is an architectural and design firm based in Tokyo, headed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, with three partners Yoshitaka Tanase, Yumiko Yamada and Rikiya Yamamoto.

In recent years SANAA has completed several prominent cultural and educational projects such as Louvre-Lens in France, Rolex Learning Center in Switzerland, New Museum in New York, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan.

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa were chosen as the 2010 Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Sejima is only the second female to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The buildings by Sejima and Nishizawa seem deceptively simple. The architects hold a vision of a building as a seamless whole, where the physical presence retreats and forms a sensuous background for people, objects, activities, and landscapes.

2010 Pritzker Prize citation excerpt