Japanese archistar Arata Isozaki, who signed many of the most important and recognized architectural projects in the world, has passed away at the age of 91. Just to name the most famous in Italy, in Milan the Allianz Tower, renamed ‘il Dritto,’ together with Andrea Maffei; in Turin the Palasport Olimpico. His was the winning design for the Loggia degli Uffizi in Florence, the subject of a long dispute between critics and institutions, which was then not realized. His was also the project, which also did not see the light of day but won the international competition promoted by Rfi, concerning the completion of Bologna’s central station in 2008 (together with Ove Arup & Partners international and the Italian firm M+P & partners).
His works have been a bridge between East and West, the result of a visionary mind that has been able to make different cultures dialogue. Born in Oita, Isozaki is a child of the reconstruction following World War II. He devotes his efforts to it not only from an artistic and architectural point of view, but also in terms of reflection that lead him to conceive a broad and transnational thought. He lives close to the destruction of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and it is from that experience, from that rubble and from that absence of architecture, as he himself described it, that the awareness of the possibility of reconstruction is born.
He studied in Tokyo with Kenzo Tange and working in his master’s studio, Urtec, participated in the realization of the Tokyo 1060 plan. He then founded the Arata Isozaki Atelier. He works all over the world: from Japan he moves to Europe and the United States, via Central Asia and Australia. His characteristic feature is not having a unique and unequivocal style. Each of his projects is made of ‘listening’ to the territory and the ability to return site-specific solutions, consistent with social and cultural contexts. More than 100 projects formed by Arata Isozaki & Associates. In 2019 he won the Pritzker Prize, the most important award in the field, and in 1996 the Golden Lion at the Venice International Architecture Exhibition.