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Spotlight: Arata Isozaki

Japanese architect, teacher, and theorist Arata Isozaki (born 23 July, 1931) helped bring Japanese influence to some of the most prestigious buildings of the 20th century, and continues to work at the highest level today. Initially working in a distinctive form of modernism, Isozaki developed his own thoughts and theories on architecture into a complex style that invokes pure shape and space as much as it evokes post-modern ideas. Highly adaptable and socially concerned, his work has been acclaimed for being sensitive to context while still making statements of its own.

"Baby Rems" and the Small World of Architecture Internships

The world of architecture is small. So small in fact, that Rem Koolhaas has been credited with the creation of over forty practices worldwide, led by the likes of Zaha Hadid and Bjarke Ingels. Dubbed “Baby Rems” by Metropolis Magazine, this Koolhaas effect is hardly an isolated pattern, with manifestations far beyond the walls of OMA. The phenomenon has dominated the world of architecture, assisted by the prevalence and increasing necessity of internships for burgeoning architects.

In a recent article for Curbed, Patrick Sisson dug into the storied history of internships to uncover some unexpected connections between the world's most prolific architects. With the help of Sisson's list, we've compiled a record of the humble beginnings of the household names of architecture. Where did Frank Gehry get his start? Find out after the break.

Renzo Piano's pavilion at Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum. Image © Robert Laprelle Jeanne Gang worked on OMA's Maison Bordeaux. Image © Hans Werlemann, courtesy OMA Mies van der Rohe worked on Behren's AEG Turbine Factory. Image © Flickr CC user Joseph The Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York by Louis Sullivan. Image Courtesy of Jack E. Boucher

Have you Seen This Forgotten PoMo Jewelry by 1980s Architects?

It's not often that a major design project by a bevy of superstar architects is forgotten to history. But this seems to be what happened in the 1980s, when Italian designer Cleto Munari commissioned a stable of world-famous architects to design a new jewelry collection. The (unashamedly PoMo) results were documented in a now almost forgotten book by Barbara Radice called simply "Jewelry By Architects," which included interviews with each designer. Originally published by Monica Khemsurov of Sight Unseen, this article shows off just some of the contents of this fascinating work.

Until about six months ago, there was only one Munari we idolized: Bruno, one of our favorite 20th-century designers and design theorists. (If you haven’t read Design As Art, we suggest you hop to it!) But then, one fateful day this past spring, we were wandering aimlessly around the internet when we stumbled upon the biggest editorial coup we've scored in years, and thus began our love affair with Cleto Munari. The Italian designer—who, as far as we can tell, is unrelated to Bruno—commissioned a dream-team of architects like Ettore Sottsass and Peter Eisenman in the early ’80s to create a jewelry collection for his eponymous company, and the project had almost no coverage anywhere on the web. After immediately snapping up a copy of the incredible out-of-print book that documented it, which we’re excerpting a small portion of here, we set about doing more research on Munari himself. Turns out he’s a bit of a Sight Unseen patron saint, who dreamed up all kinds of cross-disciplinary projects for the precious metals–focused design brand he founded in the ’70s with Carlo Scarpa. “It is most interesting to me to have a poet design a table, a painter design a credenza, and an architect design a spoon,” Munari told the Huffington Post in an interview two years ago.

Jewelry designed by Arata Isozaki. Image © Rizzoli New York Courtesy of Sight Unseen Jewelry designed by Robert Venturi. Image © Rizzoli New York Courtesy of Sight Unseen Jewelry designed by Arata Isozaki. Image © Rizzoli New York Courtesy of Sight Unseen Jewelry designed by Hans Hollein. Image © Rizzoli New York Courtesy of Sight Unseen

World's First Inflatable Concert Hall Opening in Japan

The Telegraph reports that a new inflatable concert hall dubbed “Ark Nova," created by the British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, is to tour the region of northern Japan that was most affected by the 2011 Tsunami. The hall, which will host world-class concerts, events and workshops, has a single skin membrane that can be easily inflated or deflated as well as seating constructed from local, tsunami-damaged cedar. The opening will take place this week in the coastal town of Matsushima. Learn more about the hall here

Citylife Tower / Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei

Courtesy of Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei
Courtesy of Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei

Designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei, the Citylife Tower represents the future business and shopping district of CityLife in Milan (a subsidiary company of the Generali Group and in which Allianz has a shareholding), which is progressing quickly. By 2015 it will reach a height of 207 meters, with 50 floors of offices, and will be the tallest skyscraper in Italy. The foundation bed, which has just been built, is formed of a continuous block of concrete covering a total of 4,260 cubic meters and required 42 hours of continuous work. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The Arch Nova Project / Isozaki + Kapoor

© Arch Nova
© Arch Nova

Arata Isozaki and Anish Kapoor have joined forces to create a mobile concert hall that will travel across the devastated region of Higashi Nihon, brining a promise of hope to those still suffering from the earthquake of March 2011.  Using music as the means to bring an uplifting message, Ark Nova will provide seating for approximately 700 spectators to watch interdisciplinary artistic projects, musical ensembles and multimedia exhibitions.  The hall will serve not only as a platform for performances but also as a place to meet and find creative inspiration; thus, make a lasting contribution toward returning normalcy to the region. More about the project, including a video clip, after the break.

Design Unveiled for the Broad Museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Courtesy of Diller Scofidio+Renfro
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio+Renfro

If you are a regular ArchDaily reader you know that we have been providing ongoing coverage of Eli Broad’s Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Nearly 120,000 sqf and $130 million dollars, invitations were given to six top architects to submit designs for the new museum. Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Christian de Portzamparc, Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Foreign Office Architects competed and in August we informed you that Diller Scofidio + Renfro garnered the commission. Today, the design for the Broad Museum has been released. Situated adjacent to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the museum has become a key part of the Grand Avenue redevelopment project that has been losing steam.