In this post we´re going to focus on the magnificent work carried out by Japanese architects that have been awarded in the last years with the prestigious Pritzker award (you know, the one meant to be the Nobel Prize for architecture). We´re talking about Kenzo Tange, Fumihiko Maki, Tadao Ando, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Toyo Ito and the last winner this year 2014, Shigeru Ban. They have managed to combine in an extraordinary way tradition and modernity, their works are the result of the intelligent use of materials, they have offered solutions with the purpose to serve the needs of a specific moment in history and furthermore they´ve transcended to consolidate as architectural trends of the 21st century.
Many of these architects were professionally trained in Japan, some of them have worked as professors at foreign universities and they´ve become a source of inspiration to young architects. Tadao Ando stands out from this team of professionals for his self taught in architecture.
Tokyo City Hall, by Kenzo Tange
Yoyogi Natural Gymnasium for Summer Olympics, by Kenzo Tange
The devastation that Japan suffered during the World War Two, gave cause to Kenzo Tange to be the person in charge of Hiroshima´s reconstruction, he designed the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Several years later he designed the Tokyo plan, an urban planning with the purpose to extend a very ambitious growth of the city over the bay. His main leitmotiv was to create an innovative architecture in which the commitment with a quality design, a fluent dialogue with the customer and the respect for local issues must be closely linked.
Fumihiko Maki is considered to be one of the Japan´s most distinguished architects. He calls himself as a modernist, maintains a close interest in new technologies as part of his design language. Among his best known works stands out the “Spiral building” in Tokyo. The main feature of these buildings is the approach to eclecticism and deconstructivism.
Tokyo Church of Christ, by Fumihiko Make
Rokko Housing I & II, Kobe, by Tadao Ando
If something characterizes Tadao Ando, it is his strong commitment with nature, the use of reinforced concret, and a detailed analysis of the light that impregnates all his works. We can highlight his “Church on the water”.
Church on the water, by Tadao Ando
Church of light, by Tadao Ando
Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have been working for more than 15 years, this collaborative partnership have produced big commissions like the O-Museum of Nagano, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa both in Japan, the Glass Pavillion at the Toledo Museum Ohio.
They have a special commitment to the environment. Their architecture is based on the perfect understanding between innovation and creativity.
Rolex Learning Center, Lausanne-Switzerland, by Sejima & Nishizawa
Tower of winds, Yokohama, by Toyo Ito
Toyo Ito doesn´t hide his admiration for Gaudi and Le Corbusier. This great Japanese architect thinks that architecture depends on present, nature and human being. One of his masterpieces is the Multimedia Resource Centre of Sendai in Japan. We can find several works of Toyo Ito in Barcelona, among them Suites Avenue building and Santos Porta Fira Hotel.
On Shigeru Ban, his outstanding figure and humanitarian commitment, besides his Pritzker Award 2o14, we suggest you our special post from last month.
Centre Pompidou, Metz-France, by Shigeru Ban
Aspen Art Museum, Aspen-Germany, by Shigeru Ban