Worthy winner: Jun’ya Ishigami scoops top international architecture award

Worthy winner: Jun’ya Ishigami scoops top international architecture award

The BSI Swiss Architectural Award has announced its 2016 winner. Japanese architect Jun’ya Ishigami has beaten 28 candidates from 17 different countries to be crowned this year’s top architect by the Swiss organization.

Now in its fifth edition, the award seeks to ‘recognise and raise the public profile of architects from all over the world who, through their work, have made a significant contribution to contemporary architecture.’ The award is particular looking out for environmental awareness and quality of life elements.

Kanagawa-born Ishigami, an alumnus of Kazuyo Sejima & Associates who set up his own firm in 2004, was chosen as the winner for his great quality of work in recent years. Some projects were highlighted in particular, such as the Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop (Kanagawa, Japan, 2004-2008), the Japanese Pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2008) and the House with plants, realised in Tokyo’s suburbs for a young couple (2010-2012).

’Junya Ishigami’s buildings create spaces of great beauty and serenity, which impose themselves with unusual iconic strength,’ explained the jury, which is this year chaired by Mario Botta and included the likes of Jean-Louis Cohen, Marc Collomb, Bruno Reichlin and José María Sánchez García.

The winner, whose prize will be presented during a dedicated ceremony on the September 22 at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio Università della Svizzera Italiana, will also receive a cash prize of 100,000CHF. At the same time, the award foundation will launch an exhibition of Ishigami’s work, along with projects submitted by his fellow-candidates, which will run until October 23. 

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