Jun Itami (Korean nameYoo Dong-ryul) – born in Tokyo in 1937 – died 26 June 2011).
Itami studied architecture at Musashi University’s engineering school and led an active career for over 40 years.
In 2005 he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a top cultural honor bestowed by the French government.
The following year he won various cultural and environmental awards in Asia.
He was reputed for incorporating Korean traditional aesthetics into modern designs that harmonized with the natural surroundings, and built recognizable buildings in Korea and Japan.
In 2009 Itami was named master architect of the government-sponsored Jeju Gobal Education City project on the tropical island off the southern coast of the country.
He emphasized the use of natural material such as stone, soil, wood and iron and earthy colors. The Pinx Golf Resort and Podo Hotel he designed have become Jeju’s top attractions. He was also a reputed collector of Korean antique art. The Podo Hotel features traditional local wooden furniture in a space that fuses edgy contemporary silhouettes with traditional architectural elements.
The Duson Museum and Three Art Museums on the island won Itami the 2006 Kim Swoo-kuen Culture Award and Japan’s 2010 Murano Togo Award.