The Royal Academy of Arts’ inaugural Architecture Prize winner has just been announced. This year, the accolade goes to Japanese architect Itsuko Hasegawa. One of Japan’s lesser-known architects beyond the country’s borders, Hasegawa was praised by the jury for her lightness of touch and spirit of invention. Having worked both within the forward-thinking Metabolist movement and with traditional Japanese architecture, Hasegawa certainly bridges a range of influences, which she translates delicately into her own work. Her best known buildings include the Shonandai Cultural Centre in Fujisawa, the Sumida Culture Factory and the Yamanashi Museum of Fruit. Selected by a panel comprising architect Richard Rogers RA, dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design Mohsen Mostafavi, BBC broadcaster Razia Iqbal, artist Conrad Shawcross RA and critic and curator Joseph Grima, Hasegawa was honoured for her ‘inspiring and enduring contribution to the culture of architecture’, explains the jury. ‘These new awards celebrate imaginative…Original sources