아라타 이소자키, 2019년 프리츠커상 수상

Arata Isozaki, renowned Japanese architect, has been named the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
The Hyatt Foundation gave the background to their decision, explaining that, even as he is one of the most influential figures in contemporary world architecture, he is on a constant search, not afraid to change and try new ideas. His architecture rests on a profound understanding, not only of architecture but also of philosophy, history, theory and culture. He has brought together East and West, not through mimicry or as a collage, but through the forging of new paths. He has set an example of generosity as he supports other architects and encourages them in competitions or through collaborative works

일본의 노장 건축가 아라타 이소자키가 올해 프리츠커상의 수상자로 선정됐다.
지난 5일 하얏트 재단은 “아라타 이소자키는 세계성과 지역성의 조화를 통해 세계 보편의 건축을 추구해 온 우리 시대의 선구자적 건축가다. 그가 던진 시대와 국경을 초월한 질문들, 그리고 그 답을 찾기 위한 과감한 시도들은 현대 건축의 새 지평을 열었다.” 며 선정 배경을 밝혔다. 이소자키의 수상으로 일본은 역대 최다 프리츠커 수상자를 배출한 건축 강국으로서의 위상을 공고히 하게 됐다

Arata Isozaki

일본 오이타 출신의 아라타 이소자키는 1954년 도쿄대학교 건축학부를 졸업하고 단게 겐조의 사무실에서 실무 경험을 쌓았다. 1963년 자신의 사무소를 설립하며 본격적인 활동을 시작했는데, 당시는 일본 전역에서 2차 세계대전의 상흔을 지우기 위한 움직임이 한창이었던 시기다.

내가 세상을 본격적으로 이해하기 시작했을 무렵, 나의 고향은 완전히 불타 버렸다. 히로시마에는 원자폭탄이 떨어졌고 모든 것은 사라졌다. 건축도 없고, 건물도 없으며, 도시도 없었다. 내가 처음으로 마주한 건축은 ‘공백’이었다. 제로 그라운드를 다시 채워가는 방법, 삶의 터전을 재건하는 방법을 고민하게 된 건 당연한 일이었다.

그 역시 초기에는 ‘오이타 메디컬홀'(1960)과 ‘부속 건물'(1972), ‘오이타 현립 도서관'(1966) 등 폐허가 된 고향을 재건하는 작업들을 선보였다. 이를 통해 건축계의 주목을 받으면서 오사카와 도쿄까지 작업의 범위를 넓혔고, 그 과정에서 하나의 스타일로 규정할 수 없는 자신만의 건축세계를 구축해 갔다. 정치, 경제, 문화, 무엇하나 확실치 않던 시대적 환경이 오히려 그의 건축을 변화무쌍하게 만드는 원동력이 되었던 것이다.

Ōita Prefectural Library, 1962-66, Ōita, Japan  
Isozaki’s early career began with the postwar rebuilding of Japan in his hometown of Ōita on the island of Kyushu. Ōita Prefectural Library (renamed Ōita Art Plaza) was one of the architect’s first commissions and part of a larger plan that emphasized “growing architecture,” his theory that city planning should never remain static, but be intended for growth and evolution. An analogy with the human body was an inspiration for the organization of the building, which was realized mainly in exposed concrete and gives way to environments of lightness and darkness through skylights and windows.

Arata Isozaki, born in Ōita, Island of Kyushu, Japan, graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Architecture in 1954, and worked in the office of Tange Kenzo. In 1963, he founded his own office and began his activities in earnest. At that time, there was a movement in Japan to wipe out the scars of World War II.

“When I was old enough to begin an understanding of the world, my hometown was burned down. Across the shore, the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, so I grew up near ground zero. It was in complete ruins, and there was no architecture, no buildings and not even a city. Only barracks and shelters surrounded me. So, my first experience of architecture was the void of architecture, and I began to consider how people might rebuild their homes and cities.”

In the beginning, he presented works such as Ōita Medical Hall (1960) and its Annex (1972), and Ōita Prefectural Library (1966). Through this, he was able to expand the scope of his work to Osaka and Tokyo while receiving much recognition in the field of architecture. During this period, he built his own architectural world that cannot be defined in only one style. Uncertain times throughout politics, economics and culture have become a driving force to make his architecture varied and ever-changing.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, 1981-86 Los Angeles California, USA
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles was the architect’s first international commission outside of his native Japan. Faced with a challenging site, the sunken red sandstone building is in purposeful contrast to the surrounding area’s high-rise buildings. The barrel-vaulted library and copper-clad pyramids are part of the three stories that are above ground, while visitors must descend downstairs to the underground galleries that comprise four subterranean floors.


Palau Sant Jordi, 1983-1990, Barcelona, Spain  
Designed for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, Palau Sant Jordi remains Barcelona’s largest covered sports facility. Situated on the Montjuïc hillside, the versatile structure is positioned partially below ground to minimize the profile of the 17,000-person facility. The massive domed roof, with its signature convex windows, was constructed on the ground and then elevated atop the building over a period of 20 days. Rising 148 feet above the arena floor, the roof encloses the generous interior space with a feeling of lightness. Local materials including brick, tile, zinc and travertine were used as finishes.


Ceramic Park Mino, 1996-2002, Gifu, Japan  
This ceramics museum, which includes gallery spaces, conference halls, tea housesand a public workshop, is situated in a cascading valley. It preserves its surrounding vegetation while serving as an extension of the topography through outdoor terraces, observation decks and a glass curtain wall. Two light boxes that rise up from the building hint at what lies inside. Materials such as regional stoneware bricks and ceramic are used throughout, and pendulum-like structures and suspension pillars secure the galleries against the dangers of earthquakes, thus protecting the museum’s contents.

In the 1980s, his interest in an architecture that responds sensitively to local culture, environment and social needs expanded to the concept of “world architecture” with both locality and globality.

“I wanted to see the world through my own eyes, so I traveled around the globe at least ten times before I turned thirty. I wanted to feel the life of people in different places and visited extensively inside Japan, but also to the Islamic world, villages in the deep mountains of China, South East Asia, and metropolitan cities in the US I was trying to find any opportunities to do so, and through this, I kept questioning, ‘what is architecture?’,” recalls the Laureate.”

His buildings appear geometrically simple, but are infused with theory and purpose. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1981-1986 United States) was the architect’s first international commission. Though controversial and geographically challenging, the red sandstone building was resolved by Isozaki’s eloquent awareness of scale through an assemblage of volumes, while employing the golden ratio and a theory of yin and yang throughout, evoking the complementary nature of western and eastern relationships.

Tsukuba Center Building, 1979-83, Ibaraki, Japan
Tsukuba Center Building, located in one of the first postwar cities of Japan, is a civic center designed to evoke both ruins and reinvention. This complex is comprised of a concert hall, information center, hotel, restaurants and shopping—all of the facilities needed to give life to a new city. The focus of the project is a sunken plaza or “forum.” The façades facing the plaza display a variety of forms and are finished with contrasting materials such as sleek aluminum and concrete, rough and smooth granite, and polished and unpolished tile.

지역의 문화와 환경과 사회적 요구에 민감하게 반응하는 건축. 유연한 건축에 대한 그의 관심은 1980년대에 들어서며 지역성과 국제성을 두루 갖춘, ‘세계 건축’의 개념으로 확장된다.

나만의 시각으로 세상을 보고 싶었다. 젊은 시절 수없이 많은 여행을 했던 이유도 그 때문이었다. 중국을 비롯한 동남아시아의 작은 마을들, 미국의 대도시들, 심지어 당시로써는 낯설었던 이슬람 문화권까지도 기회가 되는대로 찾아갔으니까. 물론 일본도 구석구석 돌아다녔다. 나와 다른 장소에 사는 이들의 삶을 느껴보고 싶었기 때문이다. 그렇게 세계 각지를 떠돌며 ‘건축은 무엇일까’라는 질문을 끊임없이 던졌다.

이소자키의 첫 번째 해외 프로젝트였던 ‘로스앤젤레스 현대미술관'(1986)은 그가 추구한 ‘세계 건축’을 보여주는 대표적인 사례다. 붉은 사암으로 만들어진 기하학적 형태의 이 건물에는 서양의 황금비율과 동양의 음양이론이 접목됐다. 다른 문화권에서 비롯된 두 개념은 서로를 보완하며 전 세계인에게 통용되는 보편적 건축을 탄생시킨 것이다.

Kitakyushu Central Library, 1973-74, Fukuoka, Japan
The Kitakyushu Central Library was inspired by Étienne-Louis Boullée’s proposed design for the French National Library (1785). Izosaki realized a modern interpretation of the neoclassical vaulted ceilings through precast concrete. The building’s two large barrel vaults, which run parallel prior to curving separately, contrast with the rectangular windows that line the exterior.


Art Tower Mito, 1986-90, Ibaraki, Japan
Commissioned to celebrate the centennial of Mito, Art Tower Mito was built as a cultural complex consisting of a theater, performance hall and contemporary art gallery. The iconic tetrahelix tower was inspired by Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column (1938), and is comprised of fifty-six triangular panels in varying orientations.

동서를 넘나들고, 시대를 넘나들며, 분야를 넘나드는 건축을 위한 노력은 다른 작품들에서도 계속된다.
계단식 계곡에 위치한 ‘기후 도자기 공원'(2002)에서는 야외 테라스와 전망대를 활용해 기존의 지형을 연장시키고, 17,000명 규모의 ‘바르셀로나 팔라우 산 조르디 경기장'(1983-1990)에서는 건물 일부를 지하에 묻음으로써 건축물 대신 몬주익 언덕의 풍경을 강조한다. 주어진 환경에서부터 비롯된 해법들이다.
뿐만 아니라 팔라우 산 조르디 경기장에서는 카탈로니아 건축에서 즐겨 쓰이는 돔, 불교 사원에서 착안한 경사진 형태, 현지에서 구한 벽돌과 타일, 아연, 석회석 등의 재료를 접목해, 로스앤젤레스 현대미술관에서와 마찬가지로 동서를 하나로 엮는다.

Nara Centennial Hall, 1992-1998, Nara, Japan
The Nara Centennial Hall, the object of an international competition won by Isozaki, was completed for the centennial of the municipality and eloquently combines past, present and future. Taking into account location, site and orientation, the building is designed as an independent monolith. The design also honors the nearby and prominent Todaiji Temple (734 AD) through its sloping form and gray ceramic tile. The building interiors were designed to be versatile, changing to accommodate a range of events, conventions and conferences.

Domus: La Casa del Hombre, 1993-1995, A Coruña, Spain
This interactive science museum, dedicated to the exploration of humankind, sits overlooking Orzan Bay on a site that was once a quarry. The seaside-facing exterior forms a curved protective wall, resembling a windsail or a shell, that is clad in slate panels. The opposite exterior wall, composed of local granite, zig-zags similarly to a folding screen.


Qatar National Convention Center, 2004-2011, Doha, Qatar
As one of the largest exhibition centers in the Middle East, the Qatar National Convention Center can accommodate up to 10,000 people within its three main halls and flexible meeting spaces. The exterior evokes two trees—inspired by Sidrat al-Muntaha, a holy Islamic tree that symbolizes the end of the seventh heaven—which surround the glass façade and support the roof canopy. Using careful design and the latest techniques in water conservation and energy efficiency, the building has achieved exemplary results in terms of sustainability.

Efforts for building across the East and West, across the ages, and across disciplines continue in other works.
Ceramic Park Mino (1996-2002 Gifu, Japan), a ceramics museum situated in a cascading valley, preserves surrounding vegetation while serving as an extension of the topography through outdoor terraces, observation decks and overlooks, detailed with regional stoneware bricks and ceramic. Palau Sant Jordi (1983-1990 Barcelona, Spain) is positioned partially below ground to minimize the profile of the 17,000-person facility and instead highlight the surrounding Montjuïc hillside. The domed roof was built referencing Catalan vault techniques, while the sloped forms were inspired by those of Buddhist temples, and local materials including brick, tile, zinc and travertine were used as finishes.

Shanghai Symphony Hall, 2008-2014, Shanghai, China
The 2014 opening of Shanghai Symphony Hall celebrated the 135th anniversary of Asia’s oldest orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. In collaboration with acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, the two halls seat 1200 and 400 guests respectively, each achieving an intimate aural balance for users through the use of latest technology and sensitive materials. Located in the heart of Shanghai’s French Concession, the performance art building sits on springs to offset the vibrations from the subway tracks below. The interior features reflector boards covered in woven bamboo and stage floors fabricated from Hokkaido cypress, while terra cotta bricks and a Chinese garden highlight the exterior of the building.

Isozaki’s work has thus far surpassed six decades and over one hundred built works throughout Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia. Other prominent works include the Kitakyushu City Museum of Art (1972-1974 Fukuoka, Japan), Tsukuba Center Building, (1979-1983 Ibaraki, Japan), Art Tower Mito (1986-1990 Ibaraki, Japan), Nara Centennial Hall (1992-1998 Nara, Japan), Pala Alpitour (2002-2006 Torino, Italy), Himalayas Center (2003-2013 Shanghai, China), Allianz Tower (2003-2014 Milan, Italy), Qatar National Convention Center (2004-2011 Doha, Qatar), and Shanghai Symphony Hall (2008-2014 Shanghai, China).

The 2019 Jury Citation states: “Possessing a profound knowledge of architectural history and theory, and embracing the avant-garde, he never merely replicated the status quo, but his search for meaningful architecture was reflected in his buildings that to this day, defy stylistic categorizations, are constantly evolving, and always fresh in their approach.”

Isozaki is the 46th Laureate of the Pritzker Prize, and the eighth to hail from Japan. The 2019 Pritzker Prize ceremony will take place in France this May, accompanied by a public lecture in Paris.

Lucerne Festival Ark Nova (designed by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki)
(2011-2013, 2014) Miyagi, Japan / (2015) Fukushima, Japan / (2017) Tokyo, Japan
Ark Nova, or “new ark,” was commissioned by the Lucerne Festival and designed by Anish Kapoor and Isozaki as a response to natural disaster. The PVC-coated polyester membrane of the orb-like structure inflates and deflates quickly, allowing this concert hall to be transported from one location to another, originally touring areas that were affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The inflatable mobile performance venue can showcase a range of performing arts for audiences of up to 500 guests, and has become a symbol of the spirit of rebuilding.

기하학적 형태, 다양한 색채, 첨단 공법은 ‘세계 건축’을 위한 도구들이다. 이 도구들을 창조적으로 재조합함으로써, 기존의 틀을 벗어난 새로운 건축을 선보이고 있는 것이다. 그렇게 만들어진 건축물의 내면은 뚜렷한 철학과 깊이 있는 이론으로 가득 차 있다.

아라타 이소자키는 지난 60년간 세계 각지에 수많은 작품들을 남겼다. 키타 큐슈 시립 미술관(1974, 후쿠오카), 쓰쿠바센터빌딩 (1983, 이바라키), 아트타워 미토 (1990, 이바라키), 나라 센테니얼홀 (2003) 등의 일본 내 작품들을 비롯하여, 올리언 타워 (2014, 밀라노, 이탈리아), 카타르 컨벤션센터(2011, 카타르 도하), 상하이 심포니홀 (2014 상하이, 중국) 등, 아시아는 물론 유럽과 북미, 중동에도 많은 수작들이 있다.

“그는 건축 역사와 이론, 그리고 아방가드르적 시도들을 하나로 엮을 수 있는, 포용력있는 건축가다. 틀에서 벗어난 진화하는 건축, 그리고 그 건축으로 나아가기 위한 이소자키의 접근 방식은 언제나 새롭다.” 이소자키의 건축에 심사진이 보낸 찬사이다. 
제46회 프리츠커 시상식은 오는 5월, 프랑스 파리에서 이소자키의 공개강연과 함께 열릴 예정이다.