Toyo Ito wins the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Toyo Ito

Tokyo based Japanese architect, Toyo Ito has been named as the 2013 laureate of the prestigious International Pritzker Prize of architecture. The Pritzker is arguably the profession’s highest honour and Ito will join such luminaries as past winners, Frank Ghery, Zaha Hadid and Philip Johnson.

Renowned for his lightweight structures that utilise porous materials such as mesh, perforated aluminum and permeable fabrics, his buildings attempt to create a connection between the interior and exterior conditions. This fluidity of space and his definition of architecture as “clothing” explores the balance between the public and the private life of an urban dweller. Ito believes that the porosity of the urban fabric is an important consideration in the lives of inhabitants of large cities.

Some of his celebrated works include the TOD’S Omotesando Building in Tokyo, Sendai Mediatheque, Tama Art University Library in Tokyo and Za-Koenji Public Theatre in Tokyo.

The Pritzker jury describes Toyo Ito as “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.”

When accepting the award Ito remarked that whenever he finished designing a building, he was “painfully aware of my own inadequacy, and it turns into energy to challenge the next project. Therefore, I will never fix my architectural style and never be satisfied with my works”.

The Pritzker Prize is presented annually to a living architect in recognition of contributions to both humanity and the built environment through architecture. Ito is the sixth Japanese architect to win the Pritzker, past recipents being Kenzo Tange (1987), Fumihiko Maki (1993), Tadao Ando (1995), and Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANNA (2010).