Arata Isozaki


Arata Isozaki was born in Ōita on the Japanese island of Kyushu before the start of World War II and was 14 when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed.

He graduated in 1954 from the Architecture Department of the Tokyo University of Engineering and began his career with an apprenticeship under the guidance of Kenzo Tange. He founded Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1963, subsequent to the Allied occupation, as Japan regained its sovereignty and began reconstruction amidst political, economic and cultural uncertainty. His work began locally, with buildings in his home town and Fukuoka, rapidly expanding to Gunma, Osaka and Tokyo. Isozaki demonstrated a worldview far ahead of its time that facilitated dialogue between East and West. In the 1980s he emerged as an international name in the field of architecture, with many commissions also overseas. He designed Fuji for Memphis in 1981.

Six decades of his work include philosophy, visual art, design, music, film and theatre alongside his iconic buildings. He received the L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997), the RIBA Gold Medal for architecture (1986), the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale for the Japanese Pavilion (1996), and the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2007). He was an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts (1994) and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998), and of the Japan Arts Academy (2017). Isozaki was visiting professor at several American universities, including: Columbia University, New York; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and Yale University, New Haven, CT. He lived in Okinawa with offices in Japan, China, Italy and Spain. In 2015, together with Andrea Maffei, he created the Allianz Tower or Isozaki Tower in Milan as part of the redevelopment project of the Citylife district. Also in Italy he built the Palasport Olimpico in Turin in 2006, the new railway station in Bologna in 2020 and the new monumental exit of the Uffizi, still to be completed.

In 2019, a few years before his death in 2022, he was awarded the Pritzker Prize.

Newsletter Instagram Facebook Linkedin