Design

ARCHITECTURE: Toyo Ito Wins Pritzker Prize

by Raymond Herrera

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Japanese architect, whose face and work never age, Toyo Ito has been named the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, which is considered among the highest honors in Architecture. The 71 year old architect, product designer, and author is the 6th Japanese architect to win the prize among other distinguished professionals such as Kenzo Tange, 1987, Fumihiko Maki, 1993, Tadao Ando, 1995, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, 2010.

The laureates receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion. Pritzker Prize jury chairman, The Lord Palumbo, speaks on why Toyo Ito deserves the award: “Throughout his career, Toyo Ito has been able to produce a body of work that combines conceptual innovation with superbly executed buildings. Creating outstanding architecture for more than 40 years, he has successfully undertaken libraries, houses, parks, theaters, shops, office buildings and pavilions, each time seeking to extend the possibilities of architecture. A professional of unique talent, he is dedicated to the process of discovery that comes from seeing the opportunities that lie in each commission and each site.”

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Sendai Mediatheque, Toyo Ito

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Sendai Mediatheque Interior, Toyo Ito

Among his greatest accomplishments and his personal favorites is the Sendai Mediatheque building in Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. Primarily used as a library and gallery, it is a steel, concrete, and glass building which features it’s structural system as a focal design element.

 

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TOD’S Omotesando Building, Toyo Ito

One of my favorite Toyo Ito buildings is TOD’S Omotesando in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan. The building’s exterior walls serve as both structure and primary design feature. It contains retail and office space for the Italian shoe company.

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Urban Furniture for Escofet, Toyo Ito

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Mayuhana Lamp for Yamagiwa, Toyo Ito

The formal ceremony will be held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, May 29.

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You can find out more about the Pritker prize here.

You can see more of Toyo Ito’s work here.