Born on 23 July 1931 in Ōita, Kyushu (Japan), Arata Isozaki studied architecture at the University of Tokyo. Upon graduation, he became an apprentice for nine years to Tange Kenzō (1913-2005), and in the meantime he also worked with a design team known as Urtec (Urbanists and Architects). In 1963 he formed his own design studio. In the early 1970s he moved away from the Metabolist-influenced structures of his early works, and began to examine a variety of non-Oriental solutions with a view to design innovative buildings such as the Gunma Museum of Modern Art and the Kitakyushu City Museum of Art in Fukuoka, both completed in 1974, the year that saw him being given the Annual Prize from the Architectural Institute of Japan. The 1980s were a decade of intense work around the world for Isozaki. At present he is working at the Hunan Provincial Museum in China.
The Florence Biennale bestows the Lorenzo il Magnifico Lifetime Achievement Award to Arata Isozaki as a tribute in recognition of his outstanding endeavours as an architect and cultural actor. By designing architectural complexes that bring in the heritage from Eastern and Western cultures, reinforce the harmonious connections with Nature, and perfectly suit the needs of visual and performing artists and their audiences, he has shaped a wonderful vision for a sustainable future in harmony with nature.