Itsuko Hasegawa wins first Royal Academy architecture prize

Japanese architect is the first rewarded by Royal Academy. In the jury there are also Louisa Hutton, Richard Rogers and Joseph Grima.

Itsuko Hasegawa ritratto

Itsusko Hasegawa has been awarded fo r“her significant contribution to modern architecture, both in Japan and around the world”. This is the first annual award of the Royal Academy of Architecture, supported by the Dorfamn Foundation, and sees as president in the jury Louisa Hutton, and among the other members Richard Rogers RA and Joseph Grima. “One of the most important Japanese architects”, the comments of the jurors. This award also has the task of rehabilitating a less-regarded architect, despite its importance in modern architecture. Itsuko Hasegawa began to work with the Metabolist architecture with Kazuo Shinohara, Fumihiko Maki and Kenzo Tange merging the ideas of megastructures with organic growth. After the metabolic experience, Hasegawa then continued to work with Shinoara on traditional Japanese architecture: these two work influences created the architect she is now.

Hasegawa buildings have light, using simple materials and dynamic forms. Louisa Hutton president of the jury explains “What I find most interesting about the architecture of Itsuko Hasegawa is the spirit of invention. Her buildings exude an optimism that could be interpreted as utopianism. Hasegawa seems to be speculating how one can change the world through architecture in employing the skills of the discipline - by designing and making buildings - in the service of society. As a jury we were unanimous in our decision, all agreeing that Hasegawa is an architect of great talent who has been under recognised. Through this prize we hope to bring her the much-needed recognition she deserves”.

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