Arata Isozaki (1931 – ) is a Japanese architect, urban designer, and theorist

Monroe chairs, set of eight designed by Arata Isozaki
Monroe chairs, set of eight designed by Arata Isozaki

Arata Isozaki is a Japanese architect, urban designer, and theorist from Ōita. He was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986 and the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2019.

Education

He studied at the University of Tokyo under Kenzo Tange to 1954. 

Biography

Isozaki became one of Japan’s best-known architects of the last quarter of the 20th century. His work was direct, sometimes humorous, with geometric, solid forms. 

1954-63, he worked in the office of architect Kenzo Tange.

In 1963, he set up his own architecture practise while collaborating with other architects and studios.

He was a visiting professor at the University of California in Los Angeles; the University of Hawaii; Rhode Island School of Design; Columbia University, New York; Yale University. He lectured at numerous institutions, including universities in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Toronto, Houston, Sydney, Pennsylvania, and Cambridge.

1979-84, he was a jury member of the Pritzker Prize and, in 1982, an international competition for Pare de la Villette, Paris. In 1983, an international competition for Hong Kong; and others. 

He published the book The Dismantling of Architecture.

Works

He designed dinnerware for Swid Powell.

Rugs included in the 1988 Dialog range produced by Vorwerk.

1973-83 Monroe chair and table by ICF,

1981 Fuji cabinets by Memphis,

The bed at the Affinita Elettiva of 1985 Triennale di Milano.

1986 jewellery by Cleto Munari. 

'Stream' Swid Powell Porcelain 12" Service Platter Plate
‘Stream’ Swid Powell Porcelain 12″ Service Platter Plate

Architecture

Arata Isozaki - Qatar convention centre
Arata Isozaki – Qatar convention centre

With Tange, he was the chief architect for the 1970 ‘Japan World Exposition (Expo ’70),’ 

Osaka, and 1965-66 reconstruction plan (international competition winner; with Kenzo Tange) for Skopje (now Macedonia). 

Isozaki designed 1955-58 Kagawa prefectural offices, Takamatsu; 

1957-58 city hall, lmabari; 

1959-60 town plan for Tokyo; 

1971-74 Gumma Prefecture Museum of Fine Arts, Takasaki; 

1972-74 Kitakyushu City Museum of Art; 

1972-74 Fujimi country clubhouse, Oita; 

1972-75 Kitakyushu central library; 

1975 Shukosha building, Fukuoka; 

1976-78 Kamioka town hall, Gifu; 

1977-78 audio-visual centre, Oita; 

1979-82 Tsukuba civic centre; 

1981 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; 

1983 Palladium discotheque, New York; 

1986 new city hall, Tokyo; 

1986 Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art; 

1986-90 Art Tower Mito, Ibaragi Japan); 1992 Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York. 

Recognition

Work shown at 1968 (XIV) Triennale di Milano; 

1976 and 1980 Biennali di Venezia; 

1976-77 ‘Man-trans-Forms,’ Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York; 

1977 Biennale di Sao Paulo; 

‘Dal Cucchiaio alla citta 1983,’ Triennale di Milano; (Floor = Furniture bed) Affinita Elettiva at 1985 Triennale di Milano. 

He received a special prize for his work on ‘Expo ’70’; 1967 and 1975 annual prizes of Architectural Institute of Japan; 

1983 Interiors magazine award; 

1986 gold medal, Royal Institute of British Architects; and others. 

In 1978, elected an honorary member of Accademia Tiberina, Roma; American Institute of Architects; 

Bund Deutscher Architekten in 1983.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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