Obayashi PrizeRecipient of the Third Obayashi Prize

Mr.Germain VIATTEGeneral Curator of Heritage (Conservateur general du Patrimoine), Museology Project Director, the Musee du quai Branly (at the time of receiving the prize)

Mr.Germain VIATTE
1939 Born in Canada; later completes advanced studies in the history of art at Sorbonne and at the Ecole du Louvre
1963 Works at the Musees de France, French Ministry of Culture
1967 Becomes General Secretary of the Centre National d'Art Contemporain (CNAC: National Centre for Contemporary Arts)

In 1969, Mr. Viatte became involved in the establishment of the Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou. He organized numerous successful exhibitions including "Paris-Paris 1937-1975" (1981) and "Le Japon des Avant-Gardes" (1985). After serving as director of Museums in Marseilles, head of the General Inspectorate of the Musees de France, and the director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Mr. Viatte was appointed as Museology Project Director of the Musee du quai Branly.

Reason for receiving the prize

When considering urban planning, what has been attracting the most attention recently is not simply the pursuit of functionality and convenience, but the development of cities that instill clear awareness of their existence, inspire creativity, and bring about intellectual stimulation and satisfaction. Culture and arts are significant in such respect, and great expectations have been placed on museums to play important roles in this connection. Mr. Viatte proved the power of museums through his pioneering works at the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris, for which he gained international acclaim. Furthermore, in developing museums in Marseilles, he illustrated how museums function as important parts of the infrastructure for the development of a city by masterfully realizing urban renewal based on harnessing regional characteristics. Mr. Viatte's concepts and methods, which are seen as constituting a museum revolution, continue to exert significant influence on numerous architects and urban researchers.