Zaha Hadid and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Named Pritzker Architecture Prize Jurors

While the next winner of the Pritzker Prize won’t be selected until sometime next spring (Eduardo Souto de Moura was the last to win it back in March), the organization has just announced two new members of its 2012 jury (pdf), one expected and one fairly surprising. Zaha Hadid falls in the “expected” category, given that she’s one of the biggest names in the business these days and took home the prize herself back in 2004. The “surprising” addition is Stephen Breyer, a sitting Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. While we were initially skeptical, thinking perhaps his addition was perhaps just a very odd PR move, the press release fills us in on Breyer’s long-standing interest in architecture, having penned an introduction to the book Celebrating The Courthouse: A Guide For Architects, Their Clients, And The Public and being awarded the Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts by the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (neither of which we knew existed) back in 2009. So we suppose he does have the clout to hang with the jury after all — though should we now be worried about his potential bias for courthouses and embassies? Whatever the case, here’s who he’ll be cooped up in the jury room with:

With the addition of Breyer and Hadid, the Pritzker jury will now consist of eight people, including its chairman, Lord Palumbo of the United Kingdom, and (alphabetically) Alejandro Aravena from Chile, architect and executive director of Elemental; Yung Ho Chang, who is an architect and educator from Beijing, China, and is currently a professor at MIT; Australian architect Glenn Murcutt who is the 2002 Pritzker Laureate; Juhani Pallasmaa of Finland, who is an architect, professor and author; and Karen Stein, a writer, editor and architectural consultant in the U.S. Martha Thorne, who is the associate dean for external affairs at the IE School of Architecture in Madrid, Spain, is the executive director.