Itsuko Hasegawa is a famous architect in Japan and international wide. Graduating from Kanto Gakuin University in Japan in 1964, she worked for Kiyonori Kikutake, another famous architect in Japan, until 1969. She then went into Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) as a research student in the Department of Architecture. In 1971, she became an assistant in Kazuo Shinohara Atelier in TIT. In 1979, she established her own firm Itsuko Hasegawa Atelier. Over the years, she designed many houses and public buildings. Numerous of them received awards, such as her Bizan Hall (1981) in Shizuoka, Shizuoka, that got her Design Prize from the Architectural Institute of Japan in 1986. Some of her other famous works include the Niigata Performing Arts Center (1993), Niigata, Niigata, Cardiff Bay Opera House (1994), Cardiff, Wales, UK, Yamanashi Fruit Garden (1995), Yamanashi, Yamanashi, and Namekawa Housing (1998), Ibaraki. The Niigata Performing Arts Center is "a system of floating islands arrayed like an archipelago" (Island 26). The Yamanashi Fruit Garden consists of scattered but connected domes of a fruit plaza, an exhibition hall, a tropical greenhouse, a fruit workshop, a water garden, and an information center. Their relative locations represent the vitality and variety of fruit.
Hasegawa is also very active in promoting architectural education. She was visiting professor at Havard University's Graduate School of Design in Boson, US, in 1992. Hasegawa has also lectured internationally, including University of Trondheim in Norway (1996), l'Ecole d'Architecture in Nantes, France (1995), Louvre Museum in Paris, France (1993), Frankfurt School of Architecture (1987) in Frankfurt, Germany, Havard (1992), Yale (1991), MIT (1989), and U of Illinois (1991) in the US. And she of course has also lectured in Japan.
In 1997, she was elected to be one of the RIBA's Honorary Fellows.
Some quotes from Hasegawa's Itsuko Hasegawa: Island Hopping - Crossover Architecture:
"The theme of our project in Niigata - collaboration and crossover - was to make a 'communication space' where people from different fields could mix" (Island 13).
"As part of our architectural design process, we consider the original landscape, food, and art of a region to create vibrant facilities, [and sense of connection with local customs and history" (Island 15).
"I often use the Japanese term harrapa (meaning a casual, free, and relaxed open space filled with light and greenery) to describe my architecture" (Island 16).
Itsuko Hasegawa: Island Hopping - Crossover Architecture by Itsuko Hasegawa, Teruaki Furodoi, Moriko Kira, Katsuhiro Miyamoto. NAI Publishers: 2001.
Itsuko Hasegawa. Recent Buildings and Projects by Itsuko Hasegawa, Patrice Goulet, Koji Taki. Birkhauser: 1997.
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