Toyo Ito Awarded Pritzker Prize 2013
The most prestigious recognition an architect can achieve this year has been awarded to Toyo Ito, the japanese master whose buildings are a reference for the global professional community since four decades. His buildings are diverse, generous and naturally sensitive. They are also iconic, but always in a different and peculiar way. His approach to architecture may appear elitaire when looking at the flagship buildings, but his residential projects for several private clients witness great ability to set everyday life in original and comfortable scenarios. Furthermore most of Toyo Ito’s projects are public buildings providing extraordinary stimulating places for people to meet.
The Pritzker Prize was initiated in 1979 by Jay and Cindy Pritzker who “believed that a meaningful prize would encourage and stimulate not only a greater public awareness of buildings, but also would inspire greater creativity within the architectural profession”. It is sponsored by the Hyatt Foundation (yes, the luxury hotel chain) and this year the Jury was composed by Lord Palumbo (Chairman), Alejandro Aravena, Stephen Breyer, Yung Ho Chang, Glenn Murcutt, Juhani Pallasmaa and Martha Thorne (Executive Director).
Below a quote from the Jury’s citation and pictures of some significant works.
Toyo Ito is a creator of timeless buildings, who at the same time boldly charts new paths. His architecture projects an air of optimism, lightness and joy, and is infused with both a sense of uniqueness and universality. For these reasons and for his synthesis of structure, space and form that creates inviting places, for his sensitivity to landscape, for infusing his designs with a spiritual dimension and for the poetics that transcend all his works, Toyo Ito is awarded the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
A large geometrically defined volume in extremely fragmented environment can easily become a Ufo, but this is not the case, thanks to the careful relationship of the shell with the ground and its delicate folding.
Not an easy architecture for a dramatic task, but the result is a overwhelming peacefulness.
Striving for harmony and continuity in a fragmented and chaotic urban environment. The building is a composition of volumes kept together by the sinuous facade of the base. Inside the search for continuity goes on like in a Moebius strip.
Capturing the essence of a dematerialising world with a spectacular, but also familiar and user friendly design.
Pushing things a step further into another, bigger dimension. That’s another challenge the architect has not avoided. The result will be soon to be seen. In the meanwhile the building site is impressive enough.