Architecture

The amazing avant-garde works of 2019 Pritzker Prize winner Arata Isozaki

The amazing avant-garde works ...
The Ark Nova was created in collaboration with Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor
The Ark Nova was created in collaboration with Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor
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The Qatar National Convention Center is defined by eye-catching tree-like columns that appear to be supporting a cantilevering roof
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The Qatar National Convention Center is defined by eye-catching tree-like columns that appear to be supporting a cantilevering roof
Ceramic Park Mino includes ceramics exhibitions and workshops, gallery spaces, conference halls, and tea houses 
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Ceramic Park Mino includes ceramics exhibitions and workshops, gallery spaces, conference halls, and tea houses 
Palau Sant Jordi (or St. George's Palace), in Barcelona, Spain, opened in 1990
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Palau Sant Jordi (or St. George's Palace), in Barcelona, Spain, opened in 1990
Palau Sant Jordi was created for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games
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Palau Sant Jordi was created for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games
Nara Centennial Hall was created to celebrate the passing of 100 years from the incorporation of the city
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Nara Centennial Hall was created to celebrate the passing of 100 years from the incorporation of the city
Nara Centennial Hall, located in Japan, opened in 1999
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Nara Centennial Hall, located in Japan, opened in 1999
Nara Centennial Hall is a mixed-use building that includes a concert hall and gallery
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Nara Centennial Hall is a mixed-use building that includes a concert hall and gallery
Domus Museum (aka Domus: La Casa del Hombre), located in Spain, opened in 1995
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Domus Museum (aka Domus: La Casa del Hombre), located in Spain, opened in 1995
Domus Museum was the world’s first interactive museum 
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Domus Museum was the world’s first interactive museum 
To fit the building into its site, which is a former quarry, the Domus Museum was dug into the rock
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To fit the building into its site, which is a former quarry, the Domus Museum was dug into the rock
Domus Museum's seaside-facing exterior forms a curved protective wall, resembling a windsail or a shell, that is clad in slate panels
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Domus Museum's seaside-facing exterior forms a curved protective wall, resembling a windsail or a shell, that is clad in slate panels
Domus Museum features a skylight to ensure ample natural light within
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Domus Museum features a skylight to ensure ample natural light within
The Qatar National Convention Center opened in December, 2011
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The Qatar National Convention Center opened in December, 2011
The Ark Nova, located in Japan, was completed in 2013
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The Ark Nova, located in Japan, was completed in 2013
The Ark Nova was created in collaboration with Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor
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The Ark Nova was created in collaboration with Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor
Art Tower Mito is an arts complex in Mito, Japan. It opened in 1990
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Art Tower Mito is an arts complex in Mito, Japan. It opened in 1990
The Tsukuba Center Building comprises a concert hall, information center, hotel, restaurants and shopping
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The Tsukuba Center Building comprises a concert hall, information center, hotel, restaurants and shopping
The Tsukuba Center Building, located in Japan, was completed in 1983
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The Tsukuba Center Building, located in Japan, was completed in 1983
The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, located in Japan, opened in 1974
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The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, located in Japan, opened in 1974
Art Tower Mito was created as part of the centennial celebrations of the municipality of Mito
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Art Tower Mito was created as part of the centennial celebrations of the municipality of Mito
The Tsukuba Center Building is a civic center designed to evoke both ruins and reinvention
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The Tsukuba Center Building is a civic center designed to evoke both ruins and reinvention
The Tsukuba Center Building features stunning interior lighting 
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The Tsukuba Center Building features stunning interior lighting 
Art Tower Mito is an arts complex in Mito, Japan. It opened in 1990
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Art Tower Mito is an arts complex in Mito, Japan. It opened in 1990
Ōita Prefectural Library, located in Japan, was completed in 1966
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Ōita Prefectural Library, located in Japan, was completed in 1966
Ōita Prefectural Library was one of the Isozaki's first projects and emphasized "growing architecture," his theory that city planning should never remain static, but be intended for growth and evolution
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Ōita Prefectural Library was one of the Isozaki's first projects and emphasized "growing architecture," his theory that city planning should never remain static, but be intended for growth and evolution
Art Tower Mito includes a concert hall, theater, and gallery
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Art Tower Mito includes a concert hall, theater, and gallery
Allianz Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Italy
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Allianz Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Italy
Allianz Tower is a fifty-floor, 209 m (686 ft)-tall skyscraper in Milan
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Allianz Tower is a fifty-floor, 209 m (686 ft)-tall skyscraper in Milan
Allianz Tower, located in Milan, opened in 2015
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Allianz Tower, located in Milan, opened in 2015
Kitakyushu Central Library, located in Japan, opened in 1974, and shows Mitsumasa's avant-garde influences
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Kitakyushu Central Library, located in Japan, opened in 1974, and shows Mitsumasa's avant-garde influences
Palau Sant Jordi is defined by its massive domed roof and signature convex windows
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Palau Sant Jordi is defined by its massive domed roof and signature convex windows
The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, comprises a system of cubes that form a primary rectangular backbone with two projecting wings
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The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, comprises a system of cubes that form a primary rectangular backbone with two projecting wings
Ceramic Park Mino, located in Japan, opened in 2002
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Ceramic Park Mino, located in Japan, opened in 2002
Ceramic Park Mino features regional stoneware bricks and ceramic are used throughout
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Ceramic Park Mino features regional stoneware bricks and ceramic are used throughout
The Pala Alpitour is located in Turin, Italy
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The Pala Alpitour is located in Turin, Italy
The Pala Alpitour is a multipurpose indoor sports center
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The Pala Alpitour is a multipurpose indoor sports center
The Pala Alpitour was originally designed for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games
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The Pala Alpitour was originally designed for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games
View gallery - 37 images

The Pritzker Prize is generally regarded as the most prestigious award in architecture and previous recipients read like a who's who of architectural luminaries, including Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Shigeru Ban. Renowned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki now joins these ranks as the 2019 Pritzker Prize winner.

Isozaki was born in Ōita, on the Island of Kyushu, Japan, in 1931. He was just a 12 year old boy when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated during WWII and the events clearly influenced him and his works.

"When I was old enough to begin an understanding of the world, my hometown was burned down," says Isozaki. "Across the shore, the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, so I grew up on ground zero. It was in complete ruins, and there was no architecture, no buildings and not even a city. Only barracks and shelters surrounded me. So, my first experience of architecture was the void of architecture, and I began to consider how people might rebuild their homes and cities."

Isozaki began his career with an apprenticeship under another Japanese future Pritzker Prize winner, Kenzo Tange, and established his own firm, Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1963.

His early output includes the Kitakyushu Central Library, shown below. Completed in 1974, it was inspired by the proposed design for the French National Library, by architect Étienne-Louis Boullée. The building's two large barrel vaults run parallel before curving separately and contrast with the rectangular glazing.

Kitakyushu Central Library, located in Japan, opened in 1974, and shows Mitsumasa's avant-garde influences
Kitakyushu Central Library, located in Japan, opened in 1974, and shows Mitsumasa's avant-garde influences

The Qatar National Convention Centre, pictured below, is another highlight. Located in Doha, the building was completed in 2011 and is defined by tree-like columns that appear to support a cantilevering roof. The design is inspired by the Sidrat al-Muntaha, a holy Islamic tree that symbolizes the end of the seventh heaven. It's also rated LEED Gold (a green building standard), and features water saving technology and a large solar panel array on its roof.

The Qatar National Convention Center opened in December, 2011
The Qatar National Convention Center opened in December, 2011

The Ark Nova, below, is yet another standout. The strange inflatable concert hall was created in collaboration with Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor and completed in 2013. The PVC-coated polyester structure toured areas of Japan that were affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and seats up to 500 people.

The Ark Nova, located in Japan, was completed in 2013
The Ark Nova, located in Japan, was completed in 2013

"Possessing a profound knowledge of architectural history and theory, and embracing the avant-garde, he never merely replicated the status quo, but his search for meaningful architecture was reflected in his buildings that to this day, defy stylistic categorizations, are constantly evolving, and always fresh in their approach," says the Pritzker Prize jury.

Head to the gallery to see a selection of this remarkable architect's varied works, spanning his long career.

Source: Pritzker Prize

View gallery - 37 images
4 comments
guzmanchinky
Ok the purple bubble gum one is awesome.
liui
Purple bubble gum? I thought it was a purple hemorrhoid donut.
christopher
Born the same year Japan commenced the hostilities that eventually lead to WWII - pity they don't teach their kids about Nanjing 1937. I wonder if any of them even wonder *why* they got bombed? Isozaki is clearly clueless, using the subject for publicity as if it's something to be proud of.
ljaques
It's a purple bean donut. I kinda like the wet rock on the last one. And the water feature on the Tsukuba Center Building, but the lighting is truly stunning--in a bad way. Love the Qatar tree, which should be brown and green, not gray on gray. The rest (Kitakyushu colon, etc.) would be immediately buried if found by a large enough cat.