Toyo Ito, Japanese architect, has been awarded with the Pritzker, the most prestigious award for architecture. He is the sixth Japanese getting this award, also known as the Nobel Prize of architecture.
The jury highlighted his ability to “instill into his designs a spiritual and poetic dimension”. In addition, Pritzker members have stressed Ito’s skills when it comes to “erase the conventional meaning using minimalist tactics.” An architecture that “recalls the air and wind”, said the Pritzker committee.
“He is a creator of timeless buildings. His architecture projected optimism, lightness and joy, and it’s impregnated with a sense of unity and universality”. This is how Pritzker members, chaired by Lord Peter Palumbo, defined Ito’s architecture.
The jury also highlighted the adaptation capability of the architect. Toyo Ito’s designs are capable of unifying structure, space, and technology scenario, which means that his buildings allow its inhabitants to operate freely in them. Main objective of Ito’s architecture.
His creation is the result of a “thorough knowledge of his work”, stressed the Pritzker jury.
“An architect is someone who can transform areas into places for humanity”, this is how Toyo Ito defines himself.
It is said that Toyo Ito is the closest we have today to the principles of Antoni Gaudí. His work is the result of complicity engineering and nature, man work versus the ecosystem.
The architect has admitted the inevitable reference to Catalan genius and confessed that reveres his master architecture. His aim is to “reflect the dynamism and fluidity” of Antoni Gaudí like if they were “ocean waves,” added Ito.
Trees are his source of inspiration. These are elements that reminds him of Gaudí, who learned from him that design can never do better than a tree. “They are natural objects that stand for themselves and their inherent structure is so natural,” says Ito.
Toyo Ito is responsible of the facade design of the apartments Suites Avenue Passeig de Gracia, in Barcelona. The organic balconies of the building, owned by Derby Hotels, call your attention for its similarity to the designs of Gaudí.
And in reference to this work there is a story that tells that Toyo Ito accepted the job of Mr. Jordi Clos -President of Derby Hotels– to restore the facade after seeing a jazz concert that took place in La Pedrera.
The views of Antoni Gaudí landmark building made him accept the project as he understood that the facade of Suites Avenue would be a dialogue (in architectural terms) with La Pedrera.
The Tower of Windsin Yokohama, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion inLondon, the Funeral of Gifu or Tama Art University Library inTokyoare some of his best known works.
The Home for All project, conducted with other architects, to build communal spaces for those affected by the earthquake in Japan 2011 made him earned the Golden Lion award for best national pavilion at the last Venice Biennale.
His presence in Spain is also very present. One of his most iconic buildings is the Hotel Porta Fira, Hospitalet de Llobregat, whose design was inspired by the shape of a lotus flower.
We expect him to continue designing these incredible buildings.
From Derby Hotels we want to congratulate him for the Pritzker!