Dominique Perrault has been honoured by the Japanese Art Association
The Japan Art Association has named Dominique Perrault as the 2015 Praemium Imperiale Laureate for Architecture.
The Awards Ceremony will be held in Tokyo on October 21, 2015 under the patronage of Prince Hitachi.
Dominique Perrault is an architect who primarily steeps himself in the history, environment, and special local nature of a building’s site before going to the drawing board to design it.
“My starting point is the empty space and how to design it,” Perrault explains. “We need empty spaces in our homes to make them livable. In the cityscape, this emptiness is sometimes viewed as positive, but sometimes as rather unsettling. My primary focus is on finding ways to enhance the quality of these empty spaces.”
“Architecture should not be closed on itself, with its back to the context. It should always be in resonance with the environment, whether natural or urban. We architects should always think about our buildings’ place in the urban design, and about the city itself as a whole.”
Dominique Perrault wanted to become a painter, but at the age of 25, he changed his orientation and decided to become an architect. In 1989, he won the competition of the National Library of France (completed in 1995) at the age of 36, by the decision of President François Mitterrand. He considers that the experience of painting has been useful in his work as an architect, but it has also been useful in a curious way in that he says, “it is something that has enabled me to lose the fear of looking at a blank page”.
The National Library of France, which brought him international renown as an architect, was full of innovative ideas. He built 100-metre towers at the four corners, buried the main body of the building underground and created: “At the heart of the library, a large garden; around it, a cloister, with towers, like an abbey.”
Since then, the two have worked together closely, engaged in such major projects as the Velodrome and Olympic Swimming Pool in Berlin, the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg and the Albi Grand Theatre, in Albi, France.
Among his works in Asia, Dominique Perrault designed the Noh Theatre in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, the Fukoku Tower in the Umeda business district of Osaka and the Ewha Woman’s University Campus Center in Seoul, South Korea.
The Praemium Imperiale honors artists in five fields: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music and Theatre/Film/Dance.