Arata Isozaki of Japan wins Pritzker architecture prize

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki poses at the “City Life office Tower”, a skyscraper that was under construction in Milan. (File photo: AFP)

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki has been awarded the Pritzker Prize, considered architecture’s highest honor, for a lifetime of work that found global resonance while mining local traditions.

The 87-year-old’s over 100 built works range from the Palau Saint Jordi, built in Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics, to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, his first international commission.

His hometown of Otai, Japan, is a showcase of his early work, including 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 on 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 said.

Isozaki is the 46th Pritzker laureate and the eighth Japanese architect to receive the honor. Winners receive a bronze medallion and $100,000.

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