Japanese Architect Arata Isozaki Receives 2019 Pritzker Prize
On March 5th, Japanese architect Arata Isozaki (born in 1931) was announced as laureate of the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Isozaki is the 8th Japanese architect to receive this prestigious distinction, the discipline’s highest honor.
Early on in his career, Isozaki expressed his interest for overseas architectural styles. Before his 30s, he had traveled to different continents, from American metropolises to mountain villages in China, constantly questioning the definition of architecture. Even though his first works were in Japan, where he participated extensively to post-war reconstruction, he was one of the first Japanese architect to build outside of his homeland.
Since the 1960s, he has thus designed more than a hundred buildings worldwide, using a transnational approach which facilitates dialogues between the East and the West. Notable works include the Ōita Prefectural Library in Japan (1966), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1986) and the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona (1990).
In the early 2000s, Isozaki completed his first works in China, where he has been very active since. He has designed a dozen buildings over the last twenty years, including the Shanghai Symphony Hall (2014), the Xixi Wetland Museum in Hangzhou (2009-photo) and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (2008). Isozaki’s work in China exemplifies his ability to adapt global architectural influences to local identities, creating unique buildings that defy stylistic categorizations.