Itsuko Hasegawa was born in Yaizu City, Japan in 1941. After working in the offices of Kazuo Shinohara and Kyionori Kitaki, she started her own studio in Tokyo in 1976.
Her breakthrough project was Bizan Hall (1986). This was followed by the Shonandai Cultural Centre (1990) and the Sumida Culture Factory (1994), both comprising compositions of blocks linked by walkways. These buildings feature her trademark perforated steel panels.
Her most famous work , the Museum of Fruit (1995) presents three glass objects in the landscape, housing art contributors. These zoomorphic pavilions are intended to refer to seeds half-planted in the earth. Inside, they give beautiful views towards Mount Fuji from elevated platforms, the elegant white steel structure and almost invisible glazing details adding to the futuristic drama.
In 2018, Hasegawa has been announced as the first laureate of the Royal Academy of Arts’ architecture prize. “What I find most interesting about the architecture of Itsuko Hasegawa is the spirit of invention,” said architect Louisa Hutton, who chaired the Royal Academy Architecture Prize jury. “Her buildings exude an optimism that could be interpreted as utopianism. Hasegawa seems to be speculating how one can change the world through architecture.”
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.