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Japanese architect Arata Isozaki wins Pritzker prize 2019, the ‘Nobel’ of architecture

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki was awarded the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of architecture”. It is the highest honor, for a lifetime of work that found global resonance while mining local traditions.

The 87-year-old’s architect has more than 100 built works range all across the globe. His most famous buildings include the Palau Saint Jordi, built in Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics, to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which was his first international commission, and the inflatable Ark Nova concert hall in Japan.

The world’s first inflatable concert hall in the Japanese coastal town of Matsushima in 2013: British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki created the unusual Ark Nova, a balloon made of a coated polyester material

His hometown of Otai, Japan is a showcase of his early work, which includes a medical hall and annex, and a prefectural library.

“Isozaki is a pioneer in understanding that the need for architecture is both global and local, that those two forces are part of a single challenge,” the chair of the jury, US Justice Stephen Breyer, said as the prize was announced Tuesday.

“For many years, he has been trying to make certain that areas of the world that have long traditions in architecture are not limited to that tradition, but help spread those traditions while simultaneously learning from the rest of the world,” he further added.

Arata Isozaki is the 46th Pritzker laureate and the 8th Japanese architect to receive the honor. The prize will be awarded in May at a ceremony in Paris. Winners receive a bronze medallion and $100,000.

Have a look at some of the most remarkable structures from his decades-long career:

The Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art in Japan was one of Isozaki’s first professional projects.
The Nara Centennial Hall opened in in 1999. Its debut marked the 100th anniversary of ancient Japan’s first capital.
The Qatar National Convention Center, inspired by a holy Islamic tree.
The Allianz Tower in Milan is nicknamed Il Dritto, or “The Straight.”
The Thessaloniki Concert Hall borders the Aegean Sea in Greece.
The white and green panels on the D38 Office in Barcelona help reduce glare.
The Palau Sant Jordi hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Saman Siddiqui
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Saman Siddiqui

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