Designer of Bond University and the iconic Arch receives world's highest architecture honour

March 7, 2019

The Japanese architect who designed the original buildings at Bond University, including the landmark Arch, has received the highest honour in world architecture - Arata Isozaki has been named the winner of the Pritzker Prize.

The announcement came on the eve of Bond University’s 30th anniversary celebrations in May.

Mr Isozaki was brought in to work on the university by Japanese property developer Harunori Takahashi, who co-founded Bond with Australian businessman Alan Bond.

The Arch, which houses the University's executive administration and Faculty of Society and Design, is the central feature of his design and draws inspiration from Constantine’s Triumphal Arch in Rome, built in 315AD.

Michael Keniger, Professor of Architecture and Acting Head of the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University, said: “The strong axial symmetry of the building, together with its refined sculpted forms, shaded colonnades and use of sandstone combines elements of classical Western traditions with Japanese sensibility.

“This approach resounds with comments made by the Pritzker prize jury that commended Isozaki’s ability to have brought together lessons from cultures worldwide throughout his career.”

The Pritzker jury said Mr Isozaki pioneered the “understanding that the need for architecture is both global and local”.

"Possessing a profound knowledge of architectural history and theory, and embracing the avant-garde, he never merely replicated the status quo," the jury said.

Mr Isozaki also designed the Qatar National Convention Centre, Nara Centennial Hall in Japan and the Shanghai Symphony Hall in China, among more than 100 major projects.

He has said growing up near Hiroshima, which was destroyed by an atomic bomb in 1945, taught him how homes and cities could be rebuilt.

"It was in complete ruins and there was no architecture, no buildings and not even a city," he said.

"Only barracks and shelters surrounded me. So my first experience of architecture was the void of architecture, and I began to consider how people might rebuild their homes and cities."

Previous winners of the coveted prize include Jorn Utzon who designed the Sydney Opera House.

Mr Isozaki will be awarded a prize of US$100,000 in May at a ceremony at the Château de Versailles in France.