BODW 2009
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Best recognized for a recurring exposition of extreme concept architecture, Japanese-born Toyo Ito is reputed as one of the foremost practitioners of design working today. With groundbreaking projects that span the world’s continents, Ito has been a recipient of countless accolades, including a Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale.

Among his works, the Sendai Mediatheque built in 2001 has been broadly received as a sensational project, influencing architects worldwide. Ito has been redefining the relationship between nature and architecture beyond modernism, namely to reestablish the philosophy of sustainable architecture.

Ito’s dominant creative premise is manifest via a desire to explore the dynamic relationships and boundaries between buildings and their surrounding environment. His current architecture expands on his early findings to aggressively explore the potentiality of new forms – to find spatial conditions that reveal the philosophy of borderless beings.

Among his best-known buildings in Japan are the Yatsushiro Municipal Museum, Kumamoto; Dome in Odate, Akita; Sendai Médiathèque, Miyagi; Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, Nagano; TOD’S Omotesando Building, Tokyo; the Meiso no Mori Municipal Funeral Hall, Gifu; and the Tama Art University Library (Hachioji campus), Tokyo. Noteworthy among his international projects are the Brugge Pavilion in Belgium; Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in England; Hospital Cognacq-Jay in France; VivoCity in Singapore; and the Main Stadium of the 2009 World Games in Taiwan. Current projects undertaken by his practice include Relaxation Park in Spain; Taichung Metropolitan Opera House in Taiwan; College of Social Sciences, National Taiwan University in Taiwan; and the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in the United States.

In 1971, Ito founded his architectural practice, Urban Robot, in Tokyo. The firm was later renamed Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects, in 1979.