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Japanese architects win 2010 Pritzker prize

Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have won the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize, often considered the Nobel prize of architecture, for works characterized by lightness and transparency, the jury said Sunday.

Sejima, 53, and Nishizawa, 44, partners in their architecture firm, will receive a $100,000 grant and bronze medallions at an award ceremony May 17 on Ellis Island in New York. Sejima, is the second woman to win the prize and Nishizawa is the youngest ever. The two are principals of Tokyo’s SANAA firm. The initials stand for Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates.

“The architecture of Sejima and Nishizawa explores the ideas of lightness and transparency and pushes the boundaries of these concepts to new extremes,” said Martha Thorne, executive director of the prize, which is awarded by the Hyatt Foundation.

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Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima.