Toyo Ito’s architectural designs have earned worldwide acclaim for being flexible as well as innovative. His works attempt to rediscover a relationship between architecture and nature that goes beyond functionality in order to create living spaces that are freer and more comfortable to inhabit. The earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, for example, spurred Ito and a group of other Japanese architects to develop the concept of ‘Home-for-All’ communal space for survivors.

Ito began his career at Kiyonori Kikutake Architects and Associates (1969) before setting up his own practice, Urban Robot (now called Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects) (1971). His architectural projects include National Taichung Theater, Taiwan (2016); ‘Minna no Mori’ Gifu Media Cosmos, Gifu (2015), Kaohsiung National Stadium, Taiwan (2009); Tama Art University Library, Hachioji Campus, Tokyo (2007); Serpentine Pavilion Gallery, London (2002); Sendai Mediatheque, Miyagi (2001); Tower of the Winds, Yokohama (1986); and White U, Tokyo (1976).

Among his many awards are the UIA Gold Medal (2017); Pritzker Architecture Prize (2013); Golden Lion for Best National Participation for the Japan Pavilion, 13th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2012); 22nd Praemium Imperiale in Honor of Prince Takamatsu (2010); The Asahi Prize (2010); The Royal Institute of British Architects’ Royal Gold Medal (2006); Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, 8th Venice Biennale International Exhibition (2002); and the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize (1986), among others. He was granted Honorary Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects, Royal Institute of British Architects, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He graduated from the Department of Architecture of Tokyo University (1965). Born in 1941 in Seoul while Korea was under Japanese administration, Ito lives and works in Tokyo.

SAF participation:
Sharjapan 3 – Remain Calm: Solitude and Connectivity in Japanese Architecture (2021)

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