Japanese architect Arata Isozaki wins Pritzker prize, the 'Nobel' of architecture

Arata Isozaki in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, Feb 28, 2019.
Arata Isozaki in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, Feb 28, 2019.PHOTO: NYTIMES
Arata Isozaki poses in front of the Palahockey palace, designed with Italian architect Pier Paolo Maggiora, in Turin, Italy, in 2005.
Arata Isozaki poses in front of the Palahockey palace, designed with Italian architect Pier Paolo Maggiora, in Turin, Italy, in 2005.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Arata Isozaki is pictured at the "City Life Office Tower" in 2014 in Milan, when it was under construction.
Arata Isozaki is pictured at the "City Life Office Tower" in 2014 in Milan, when it was under construction.PHOTO: AFP
The Generali tower (left), also called Hadid tower designed by Zaha Hadid studio, and the Allianz tower (right) designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei in the Citylife neighbourhood,of western Milan.
The Generali tower (left), also called Hadid tower designed by Zaha Hadid studio, and the Allianz tower (right) designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei in the Citylife neighbourhood,of western Milan.PHOTO: AFP
Domus, a museum in Spain completed in 1995 and designed by Arata Isozaki, which features a curved wall that faces the sea.
Domus, a museum in Spain completed in 1995 and designed by Arata Isozaki, which features a curved wall that faces the sea.PHOTO: NYTIMES
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, designed by Arata Isozaki in the 1980s.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, designed by Arata Isozaki in the 1980s.PHOTO: NYTIMES
The tower at Art Tower MITO, in Japan, an arts complex designed by Arata Isozaki in 1990 that includes a concert hall, theatre and gallery.
The tower at Art Tower MITO, in Japan, an arts complex designed by Arata Isozaki in 1990 that includes a concert hall, theatre and gallery.PHOTO: NYTIMES
The Qatar National Convention Centre, which Arata Isozaki designed in 2011.
The Qatar National Convention Centre, which Arata Isozaki designed in 2011.PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK (AFP) - Japanese architect Arata Isozaki has been awarded the Pritzker Prize, considered architecture's highest honour, for a lifetime of work that found global resonance while mining local traditions.

The 87-year-old's over 100 built works range from the Palau Saint Jordi, built in Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics, to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, his first international commission.

His hometown of Otai, Japan is a showcase of his early work, including a medical hall and annex, and a prefectural library.

"Isozaki is a pioneer in understanding that the need for architecture is both global and local - that those two forces are part of a single challenge," the chair of the jury, US Justice Stephen Breyer, said as the prize was announced Tuesday.

"For many years, he has been trying to make certain that areas of the world that have long traditions in architecture are not limited to that tradition, but help spread those traditions while simultaneously learning from the rest of the world," he said.

Isozaki is the 46th Pritzker laureate and the eighth Japanese architect to receive the honour.

Winners receive a bronze medallion and US$100,000 (S$130,000).