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The Jury was heartened to consider several worthwhile applicants, some of whom are already distinguished in Asian Architecture. However after extensive discussions and debate the Jury was able to arrive at the decision albeit a difficult one, to select Hitoshi Abe as the Laureate for the 2nd SIA-Getz Architecture Prize.
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 conception of projects in terms of locality and environment is typical of Hitoshi Abe’s approach. He consistently demonstrated sensitivity to the environment. In his work, he places strong emphasis on communication through the involvement of the clients, collaborators, workshop discussions to understand the context in order to arrive at the final design solution.
Inventiveness and distinctiveness are special qualities of Hitoshe 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.

One distinctive characteristic of Hitioshi Abe architecture is his capability of handling different scales of architecture from big projects like the Miyagi Stadium to small projects like the Landpack (Miyagi Museum of Art) and the new French restaurant in Senai. These projects demonstrate Hitoshi Abe’s ability to transcend mastery in the conduct of his practice - shifting between scales and testing his concepts in different environments. The award winning Miyagi Stadium is an example of a large project that he achieved his intention by making large public gesture that fuses the contrasting topological conditions of the concave landscape of the stadium and the convex landscape of the mountains.
He demonstrated his agility in shifting from big to smaller projects in the design for the new French restaurant. The name of this restaurant is Aoba-tei, which means ‘leafy place’, was inspired by an avenue of zelkova trees, features walls and ceilings decorated with images of leaves and branches. He also designed the tables and chairs which blend and integrate into the interior of the restaurant.

The Jury also noted that 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 had a distinguished career as Professor at the Tohoku University, where his contribution includes 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.
With just about 20 years since graduation, Hitoshe Abe’s contribution and achievements to the built environment and to architectural education have been significant. It is these accomplishments, his commendable body of works, coupled with his revolutionary ideas and unique approach, his sensitivity to the environment and community, that he is selected as the Laureate for the 2nd SIA-Getz Architecture Prize.