LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – One of the two architects of the Rolex Learning Center at Lausanne’s EPFL, Kazuyo Sejima, has been named the first architecture mentor in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.
Architecture is a new and seventh category for the Rolex programme, which already covers literature, music, visual arts, dance, film and theatre.
Sejima is a partner in the architecture practice SANAA, which designed the EPFL internationally famous building that opened in 2010.
The current cycle of the mentor programme, which pairs major artists with rising young talents, includes: Margaret Atwood (literature), Patrice Chéreau (theatre), Gilberto Gil (music), William Kentridge (visual arts), Lin Hwai-min (dance) and Walter Murch (film).
A young architect will be named in autumn 2012 who will be invited to spend time over a period of a year working on Home For All. The project was created by Sejima and a group of Japanese architects – Toyo Ito, Riken Yamamoto, Hiroshi Naito and Kengo Kuma – “to respond to the housing crisis following the devastation caused by the 2011 tsunami in Japan”, the Rolex programme says in a press release. It notes that
“Sejima and her partner Ryue Nishizawa won the Golden Lion at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale for the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. In 2010, they won architecture’s highest accolade, the Pritzker Prize, and that year Sejima became the first woman appointed as director of the architecture sector of the Venice Biennale.
“The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative was founded in 2002 to encourage and develop talented individuals through a programme of one-to-one mentoring with a major figure in each field of the arts. Over the past 10 years, the creative community has expanded, ranging across continents and cultures, and now includes more than 80 major creative artists of different generations and backgrounds.”
The news was announced 28 August during the International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia in Italy.