Pritzker Prize Laureate Arata Isozaki Passes Away at the Age of 91

2019 Pritzker Prize laureate Arata Isozaki passed away this Thursday, December 29, at the age of 91, as reported by the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

His prolific and varied career of more than 100 built projects on virtually every continent is now a reminder of his life dedicated to architecture. Considered the first Japanese architect to develop his work on a truly global scale, Isozaki took special care to respond to the specific requirements of each project, expanding the heterogeneity of his work and resulting in a variety of styles ranging from vernacular to high-tech.

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© Nelson Garrido. Imagen Qatar National Convention Centre

Among his best-known works are the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha, the Allianz Tower in Milan, the Himalayan Center in Shanghai, the Centro Cultural Caixa Forum Barcelona in Barcelona, and the Nara Centennial Hall in Japan.

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Torre ALLIANZ / Arata Isozaki + Andrea Maffei. Image © Alessandra Chemollo

Isozaki's career began under the lessons of Kenzo Tange, the 1987 Pritzker Prize winner. After completing his studies at the University of Tokyo in 1954, Isozaki continued his apprenticeship with Tange for nine years before establishing his own studio, Arata Isozaki & Associates, in 1963.

In his works, he included the Japanese concept 'Ma', which defines the intermediate spaces between objects:

Between one space and another, between sound and sound, there are silences, pauses. This is called Ma. The space is important; the space in between is more important.

Other of his contributions to theory are related to writings and proposals on urbanism. In this field, one of his most interesting unbuilt projects was the futuristic master plan known as City in the Air for the Shinjuku neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan.

Upon receiving the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2019, the executive director of the award at the time, Martha Thorne, commented on Isozaki:

He's an architect who didn't follow trends, yet evolved constantly over the years. If we look at the early works, compare them to the middle works, and then finally the most recent ones, we see that they're all quite different.

Said the jury of Isozaki in the award citation: “ 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.”

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Centro Cultural Caixa Forum Barcelona / Arata Isozaki. Image © Felipe Ugalde

For all his trajectory and influence on architecture, Arata Isozaki will undoubtedly be long remembered.


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Cite: Dejtiar, Fabian. "Pritzker Prize Laureate Arata Isozaki Passes Away at the Age of 91" [Arata Isozaki, ganador del Premio Pritzker, fallece a los 91 años] 29 Dec 2022. ArchDaily. (Trans. Valencia, Nicolás) Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Arata Isozaki. Image © Pritzker Architecture Prize


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