Architect Arata Isozaki wins 2019 Pritzker Prize


Last week, the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, best known in California as the designer of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, was awarded Architecture’s highest honor.

In making the award, the Jury cited, among other things “Possessing a profound knowledge of architectural history and theory, and embracing the avant-garde, [Isozaki] never merely replicated the status quo but challenged it. And in his search for meaningful architecture, he created buildings of great quality that to this day defy categorizations, reflect his constant evolution, and are always fresh in their approach.”

In concluding their remarks, they noted that “Clearly, he is one of the most influential figures in contemporary world architecture on a constant search, not afraid to change and try new ideas. His architecture rests on profound understanding, not only of architecture but also of philosophy, history, theory and culture. He has brought together East and West, not through mimicry or as a collage, but through the forging of new paths. He has set an example of generosity as he supports other architects and encourages them in competitions or through collaborative works.”

Domus: La Casa Dal Hombre, Spain

Born in 1931, Isozaki was profoundly by the destruction of his hometown of Ōita and that of Hiroshima. “My first experience of architecture was the void of architecture, and I began to consider how people might rebuild their homes and cities.” Unlike many of his peers, Isozaki has never been bound to one style, instead being led by the physical and cultural context of his work. “The most important thing an artist can do is confront society with something it has never seen before, something in a sense improper.”

MOMA Gumma, Gumma Japan

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