Like many of his generation, Arata Isozaki was strongly shaped by the destruction of Japanese cities during World War II. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo, graduating in 1954 and working for Kenzo Tange—who was then working on plans for Tokyo’s future growth—until 1963. While others influenced by Tange, including Kiyonori Kikutake and Kisho Kurokawa, celebrated the possibilities of industrial society, Isozaki positioned himself in opposition to this, instead theorizing an aesthetic to give form to the concept of obliteration, which he labeled “twilight gloom.” His Re-ruined Hiroshima project of 1968 envisions large structures built on the remains of the decimated city; these futuristic megastructures, like Hiroshima itself, are shown fallen into ruin. This polemical project powerfully illustrated the tension between ambition and trauma that accompanied the postwar transformation of Japan.

Isozaki’s early buildings, including the Oita Prefectural Library (1962–66) and the Oita branch of the Fukuoka Mutual Bank (1967), were heavily gridded. He used the uniformity of the grid to conceal the varying forms of these structures’ individual spaces, hiding the size, shape, and arrangement of the rooms and circulation routes inside the buildings. This style reached its apotheosis in the Gunma Prefectural Museum of Modern Art (1974), which takes the form of a cube paneled in aluminum, containing and separating artwork from the outside world. Following this, Isozaki’s style shifted, and he began exploring concrete vaults in his designs for the Kitakyushu Municipal Central Library (1974) and the Fujimi Country Club (1974). The trajectory of his work is characterized by both rupture and continuity and by his ongoing experimentation with form. With the advent of architectural postmodernism, he began to playfully reference Neoclassical tropes, as in his Tsukuba Civic Center (1983). In its large plaza and building complex, he employed both Japanese and Western motifs to create a space rich with dramatic material and spatial contrasts.

The later 1980s saw Isozaki gain increasing prominence outside Japan, leading to important international commissions to design the Museum of Contemporary Art Grand Avenue (MOCA Grand) in Los Angeles (1987) and Team Disney in Orlando, Florida (1991). He continues to design and remains a vital voice in global architecture.

Introduction by Anna Blair, 12-Month Intern, Department of Architecture and Design, 2016
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Introduction
Arata Isozaki (磯崎 新, Isozaki Arata; born 23 July 1931) is a Japanese architect from Ōita. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1954. Isozaki worked under Kenzo Tange before establishing his own firm in 1963. His early projects were influenced by European experiences with a style mixed between "New Brutalism" a "Metabolist Architecture" (Oita Medical Hall, 1959-1960) according to Reyner Banham. His style continued to evolve with buildings such as the Fujimi Country Club (1973–74) and Kitakyushu Central Library (1973–74). Later he developed a more modernistic style with buildings such as the Art Tower of Mito (1986–90) and Domus-Casa del Hombre (1991-1995) in Galicia, Spain. Isozaki has designed buildings both inside and outside Japan. In 2005, Arata Isozaki founded the Italian branch of his office, Arata Isozaki & Andrea Maffei Associates. Two major projects from this office include: the Allianz Tower CityLife office tower, a redevelopment project in the former trade fair area in Milan, and the new Town Library in Maranello, Italy.
Wikidata
Q317135
Information from Wikipedia, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
Introduction
Born 23 July 1931. Some works of Isozaki are signed ISO (cf DR1987:0179). Japanese architect.
Nationalities
Japanese, American
Gender
Male
Roles
Artist, Architect, Teacher, Designer, Theorist
Names
Arata Isozaki, ISO
Ulan
500024090
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License