The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually "to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture."
Founded in 1979 by Jay A. Pritzker and his wife Cindy, the award is funded by the Pritzker family and sponsored by the Hyatt Foundation. It is considered to be one of the world's premier architecture prizes, and is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture.
The prize is said to be awarded "irrespective of nationality, race, creed, or ideology." The recipients receive US$100,000, a citation certificate, and since 1987, a bronze medallion.
Any licensed architect can also make a personal application for the prize before 1 November every year. In 1988 Gordon Bunshaft nominated himself for the award and eventually won it.
According to wikipedia