The Most International Japanese Architect Recognised for His Work
Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
We know him for his somewhat crazy creations, like the idea of a city suspended above Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, ‘City of Air’, designed in 1962. Now, Arata Isozaki has won the 2019 Pritzker Prize, architecture’s equivalent of a Nobel Prize. His imagination and awareness of the impermanence of things – he grew up close to Hiroshima, which was devastated by the atomic bomb – pushed him to continually develop his style.
Isozaki is also a keen traveller, and the first Japanese architect to mix western influences with Japanese style. One of his best-known works is the Palau Sant Jordi stadium in Barcelona, which he half-buried in order to showcase the surrounding hills and which has a curved shape that recalls Buddhist temples. More recently, he created Ark Nova with artist Anish Kapoor. The aim of this inflatable, mobile concert hall was to provide entertainment for the residents of regions affected by the 2011 tsunami, thus lightening hearts through architecture.
Palau Sant Jordi, 1983-1990, Barcelona, Spain. Photo courtesy of Hisao Suzuki. Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Tokyo. LUCERNE FESTIVAL ARK NOVA (designed by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki), Miyagi (2011-2013, 2014), Japan, Fukushima (2015), Tokyo (2017). Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Kitakyushu Central Library, 1973-1974, Fukuoka, Japan. Photo courtesy of Yasuhiro Ishimoto. Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
The Museum of Modern Art, 1971-1974, Gunma, Japan. Photo courtesy of Yasuhiro Ishimoto. Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Art Tower Mito, 1986-1990, Ibaraki, Japan. Photo courtesy of Yasuhiro Ishimoto. Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
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