Pritzker Prize – Laureate Arata Isozaki passed away on Thursday, December 29, At the age of 91. 

Laureate Arata Isozaki was born on July 23 in Oita on the island of Kyushu in Japan in 1931. He grew up in the era of postwar Japan. Also, he witnessed the destruction of Hiroshima on the opposite shore of his hometown, which helped him contribute effortlessly to his architectural journey.

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Laureate Arata Isozaki_re-thinkingthefuture.com

The master Architects career began under the guidance of Kenzo Tange, the Pritzker prize winner, in 1987. After completing his education at the University of Tokyo in 1954, Isozaki continued his apprenticeship for nine years with Tange before establishing his practice – Arata Isozaki & Associates, in 1963. In his work, he introduced the concept of “Ma”, which defined the intermediate spaces between objects: The in-between spaces, between sounds, the silences, defined by Ma.

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The Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha_archdaily.com

Laureate Arata Isozaki had an incredibly creative career of six decades with more than 100 built projects on every continent. He is considered the first Japanese architect to have developed his work on a global scale. Isozaki took extensive care to respond and establish specific requirements for each project, resulting in various styles ranging from traditionally styled architecture to contemporary. His methods were recognised as a response to the needs & influences of each environment. They resulted in the buildings appearing geometrically simple yet infused with theory and purpose.

 His work portrayed connectivity between design’s local and global identity due to comprehensive cross-cultural and interdisciplinary solutions that reflected deep sensitivity to specific contextual environments and societal needs.

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The Himalayan centre inShanghai_ divisare.com

He said, “So my first experience was the void of architecture, and I began to consider how people might rebuild their homes and cities.”His love for contributing back to society also had him a visiting professor at several Universities throughout the United States, including Yale and Harvard. He stated just as much as the same is essential, so are the in-between spaces. His contributions included theories, proposals and on Urbanism. He delivered many books on architecture, several of which were translated into English, including Japan –ness in Architecture in 2006. He had many interesting unbuilt projects, one of which was the futuristic master plan showcased as the city in Air for the Shinjuku neighbourhood in Tokyo, Japan.

The Laurent of the 46th Pritzker Prize is remembered as an architect that didn’t follow trends yet managed to evolve constantly over the years. His works throughout his journey have been of different scales and followed different strategies depending on their location and briefs.

The Centro Cultural Caixa Forum in Barcelona_telefericdemontjuic.cat

His well-renowned works are – The Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, The Himalayan centre in

Shanghai, The Allianz Tower in Milan, The Nara Centennial Hall in Japan and The Centro Cultural Caixa Forum in Barcelona.

The architect was also awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal for Architecture in 1986 and was highly respected – The Venice Architectural Biennale’s Golden Lion as a commissioner of the Japanese Pavilion in 1996.

Isozaki, in his search for meaningful architecture, created buildings that showcased excellent quality

that, to date, reflect the constant evolution in his journey, defy categorisation, and have always been fresh in their approach. His prolific and varied career of more than 100 built projects on virtually every continent is now a reminder of his life dedicated to architecture. 

It’s uncommon to find an architect to have contributed to the fraternity in various styles of architecture concerning their cultural backgrounds and the space to make one feel at home irrespective of the context. The Architectural Community has lost a gem, and his values and philosophies will always be appreciated and Forever Remembered!

 References :

Dejtiar, F. (2022) Pritzker prize laureate Arata Isozaki passes away at the age of 91, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/994443/pritzker-prize-laureate-arata-isozaki-passes-away-at-the-age-of-91  (Accessed: January 2, 2023). 

Author

An explorer at heart, Kasturi Kunte is on a journey to discover the diverse world of art, architecture, and technology. She is a young architect who believes architecture is about binding humans, nature, art and built spaces together. She is currently exploring the field of writing and researching Architecture.

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