kazuyo sejima selected as first rolex architecture mentor
kazuyo sejima of pritzker prize-winning SANAA has been appointed as the first architecture in the rolex mentor and protégé arts initiative. architecture is the seventh discipline being added to the programme which also includes dance, film, literature, music, theatre and visual arts. the announcement was made at the 13th international architecture exhibition in venice. the initiative first started in 2002, seeking young creatives across the globe to work together with an artistic master in their field of interest to collaborate one-on-one in a year long mentorship programme. during its first cycle (2002-2003) two architects – mentor álvaro siza, and protégé sahel al-hivari – participated when architecture was still classified within the visual arts discipline.

 

sejima will select her protégé this fall who will join her in japan at various points during the year to work with her on ‘home for all’, an international project which she established with other japanese architects in response to the housing crisis that emerged following the devastation of the march 2011 tsunami. (learn more about ‘home for all’ on designboom here and here.) ‘I would like to pass on to the young architect what I gained from other architects throughout my career,’ said sejima. ‘I imagine a very dynamic relationship between the protégé and myself. how we will work is not something that I can determine myself as it depends very much on the energy and enthusiasm the protégé will bring as well.’

kazuyo sejima selected as first rolex architecture mentor
rolex learning center for the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne in switzerland by SANAA
image © hisao suzuki

 

 

in 2004, kazuyo sejima and her partner ryue nishizawa were awarded the golden lion at the 2004 venice architecture biennale for their 21st century museum of contemporary art in kanazawa, japan. in 2010 they were awarded the pritzker prize, architecture’s highest accolade, and in that same year, sejima was appointed the first female director of the architecture sector of the venice biennale (see designboom’s announcement here). among sejima’s major works is the ‘rolex learning center‘ for the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne (EPFL)’, an architectural landmark in switzerland for which rolex was the lead private funding partner.

kazuyo sejima selected as first rolex architecture mentor
interior of the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne
image © hisao suzuki

 

 

‘we are delighted to announce kazuyo sejima as the new architecture mentor in venice, and to be able to support the 13th international architecture exhibition as the leading focus of international architectural debate and ideas. we are also delighted to be associated with álvaro siza – 2012 golden lion award winner for lifetime achievement – who was the first mentor in the visual arts for rolex.’ – rebecca irvin, head of philanthropy at rolex