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Junya Ishigami is awarded the 13th Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in Vienna

Austria Architecture News - Jun 21, 2024 - 12:55   1915 views

Junya Ishigami is awarded the 13th Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in Vienna

Japanese architect Junya Ishigami has been awarded the 13th Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in Vienna, Austria.

Junya Ishigami was chosen as the 13th recipient of the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in January 2024 by a prestigious international jury. The award ceremony was held in Vienna on 17 June.

Frederick Kiesler was an architect, designer, set designer, and artist born in Czernowitz in 1890 and immigrated to the United States in 1926. The Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts is one of the most highly endowed international prizes in this field to endow Kiesler's visionary work.

Junya Ishigami is awarded the 13th Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in Vienna

Zaishui Art Museum in Shandong/China, 2016. Photograph © Iwan Baan

Junya Ishigami was applauded for "being one of the most interesting architects of the younger generation."

"His persistent attitude and his visionary work made him the perfect Kiesler Prize winner," according to Elke Delugan-Meissl, President of the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation. 

Delugan-Meissl also praised Junya Ishigami for "his poetically sculptural building designs are always at the interface of architecture, art, and social design and take the discipline to a new level."

Junya Ishigami, one of the most remarkable talents in the global architecture scene, was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1974. He worked for Pritzker Prize winner Kazuyo Sejima, SANAA, for many years before starting his own company, Junya Ishigami+Associates, in 2004. His distinctive style and unorthodox approach to projects brought him immediate recognition and numerous honors.

Junya Ishigami is awarded the 13th Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in Vienna

House & Restaurant in Ube/Japan, 2022. Image © Junya Ishigami+Associates

"Junya Ishigami is one of the most interesting architects of the younger generation. Both his persistent attitude and his visionary work make him the perfect Kiesler Prize winner. His poetically sculptural building designs are always at the interface of architecture, art and social design and take the discipline to a new level," said Elke Delugan-Meissl, President of the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation. 

"While the building industry has taken over the ownership of what architecture should look like, with a focus on commercial aspects, Ishigami follows his own uncompromising path in realizing his visionary projects." 

"Each of his idiosyncratic projects is unique in its aesthetics and refers to the individual circumstances and problems of our time. Thereby he continuously expands and transcends the boundaries of his profession and sets new standards for the future," Delugan-Meissl added.

He was the first architect to win the recently established Obel Award in 2019. 

He also became the youngest recipient of the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize, winning the Golden Lion in the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2014, he was named the Kenzo Tange Design Critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design in the US. He has been a professor at Tohoku University in Japan since 2010.

Among Ishigami's most notable projects are the Chapel of the Valley in Shandong in China, 2016, the House of Peace in Copenhagen, 2014, the KAIT Workshop for the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Atsugi, Japan, 2008, the Art Biotop Water Garden in Tochigi, Japan, 2018, and his pavilion for the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion in London.

Junya Ishigami is awarded the 13th Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in Vienna

KAIT Plaza in Atsugi/Japan, 2020. Image © Junya Ishigami+Associates

"Master of the Void"

"With his spectacular space concepts Junya Ishigami not only levers architectural conventions, but also creates multifunctional public spaces that open up completely new horizons of experience for encounters and social interactions – for example the architecturally created landscape of the Plaza for the Kanagawa Institute of Technology," said Theresia Niedermüller, Department Head, Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.

"Junya Ishigami is a “Master of the Void” who – through his radical work – has succeeded in liberating himself from all styles and expectations and to be completely free in his planning and thinking – an approach that is very close to Frederick Kiesler’s exceptional creative esprit," Niedermüller added.

The exhibition "Junya Ishigami" will be on display at the Kiesler Foundation from June 18 to October 11, 2024, in honor of the prize presentation. 

Two projects by Junya Ishigami+Associates are on display in the exhibition: Zaishui Art Museum in Rizhao/CHN, 2024 and House and Restaurant in Ube, Japan, 2022. Anna Fliri was the curator of the show.

Top image: Junya Ishigami, Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts, Photo: Michel Nagl. Image © 2024 Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Foundation, Vienna.

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