Architecture Prize, Dorfman Award, Itsuko Hasegawa, The Royal Academy of Arts

Itsuko Hasegawa wins the inaugural Royal Academy of Arts’ Architecture Prize

Prestigious London institution The Royal Academy of Arts has announced the first ever winner of its Architecture Prize – Itsuko Hasegawa. The architect, 76, who is known primarily in her native Japan, has been hailed  by the jury for her lightness of touch and inventive approach. She has worked on a range of projects, as varied as Metabolist and traditional Japanese architecture, interpreting them into a design language of her own. Some of her best known works are the Sumida Culture Factory, Yamanashi Museum of Fruit, Niigata City Performing Arts Centre, and the Shonandai Cultural Centre in Fujisawa.

Shonandai Cultural Centre; Photo: Shujiya Yamada

The jury panel comprised such luminaries as architects Richard Rogers and Louisa Hutton, dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design Mohsen Mostafavi, BBC broadcaster Razia Iqbal, artist Conrad Shawcross, and critic and curator Joseph Grima. The jury highlighted Hasegawa’s inspiring contribution to the culture of architecture.

Yamanashi Museum of Fruit

While the Architecture Prize honours the progressive work of established architects, the Royal Academy has launched yet another prize, Dorfman Award to recognise up-an-coming talent, which will be announced in July this year. The shortlisted candidates for the prize feature names from the Middle East – Alireza Taghaboni of nextoffice (Iran), Anne Holtrop of Studio Ann Holtrop (Bahrain and The Netherlands), in addition to Arquitectura Expandida (Colombia), Go Hasegawa and Associates (Japan) and Rahel Shawl of RAAS Architects (Ethiopia).

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