Dr. Hitoshi Abe

2008 Laureate

Hitoshi Abe

Professor, Chair of Architecture & Urban Design Department
UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design
Founder of Atelier Hitoshi Abe


Dr. Hitoshi Abe’s body of works possesses several distinctive features which show more succinct in characteristics.

His relentless push for excellent architecture and his concerns with the social, physical, economic and lifestyle needs of their users have been recognised through the various awards for several of his projects, including the Yomiuri Media Miyagi Guest House, the Miyagi Stadium, the Seiki Ladies Clinic, the Reihoku Community Hall and the SSM/Kanno Museum, as well as through various design competitions won.

His ideas and approach about buildings and urban planning have also been publicized through many of his books and articles. The writings in his books reflect his philosophy and architecture in dynamic development.

Inventiveness and distinctiveness are special qualities of Hitoshi Abe. This is demonstrated in the Kanno Museum project. In designing the Kanno Museum located in a small town of Shiogama, Japan, Hitoshi Abe attempted to create a unique place for a unique collection. The interior form was designed in specific response to the 8 sculptures owned by the client, using inflated pockets of air around each artifact; the 8 bubbles have been constrained within a predetermined cubic volume of 8.5 m x 12 m x 8.5 m high, to somehow become angular. This is a demonstration of his innovative treatment to structure, which combines an emphasis on everyday use with innovative engineering solutions.

Hitoshi Abe is not only an accomplished practitioner but also a distinguished educator. His appointment to the new chair of UCLA’s Architecture and Urban Design Department in 2007 is a testament of his contribution to education. It also recognizes his strength in the integration of research and reality found in his architectural practice. He also has had a distinguished career as a Professor at the Tohoku University, where his contributions include establishing an international network of architectural training, offering workshops with several foreign universities and starting the largest architectural event for students – the Number One Thesis competition for students at Sendai Mediatheque.

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