The Hermitage Museum, the 256-year-old art museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, that is now the second-largest in the world, has developed several European outposts in the 21st century, including those in Amsterdam, Vilnius, and Ferrara, Italy. Barcelona, Spain, was slated to become the latest outpost when the Hermitage and the Catalan government signed a letter of intent with the expectation of a 2015 opening date. When that failed to pass, a 2018 opening was agreed upon and later abandoned. Two years later, Barcelona’s city council gas refused to greenlight the third planning application rather than move the goalpost even further down the field. The council rendered a verdict on January 27 after its members expressed concern over a few of the plan’s major elements. The council was initially displeased with the proposed site in the narrow peninsula of Nova Bocana, and raised concerns over the project’s economic viability, especially given the ambiguous sources of private funding and offering of museological materials. The council also felt lukewarm about the offer given that, in the last few years, the city has become overrun with tourists and “has become a tourist theme park,” according to The Guardian. Though the city council members ultimately lost interest in the deal, members of the Hermitage Museum commissioned Japanese architect Toyo Ito to design a four-story, 170,000-square-foot space for the port of Barcelona to help sell their vision. Having already designed a 41-unit apartment building in the city in 2009, Ito had become inspired to further contribute to Barcelona’s architectural heritage with a billowing, all-white structure overlooking the sea. After the recent shakeup, Madrid’s city council has reportedly expressed interest in hosting the museum if Barcelona officially passes on the project, though it is unclear whether Ito would remain the museum’s architect following a relocation. The council told Catalan News that the suitability of a Hermitage outpost in Madrid will be considered over the next few weeks and a decision will be made public soon.
Posts tagged with "Toyo Ito":
Toyo Ito’s Metropolitan Opera House has opened in Taichung, Taiwan. The Japanese architect's latest project was ten years in the making, with designs revealed in 2006 and construction beginning in 2009. The six-story complex is 624,000 square feet in size and features a 2,014-seat grand theater, an 800-seat theater, and a 200-seat black box theater, as well as rehearsal spaces and a restaurant. From an engineering perspective, the building is architecturally complex, erected entirely without beams or columns. It relies on 58 curved wall units to achieve its grand, curved interiors. Support for its construction was donated by the city government to the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan, according to Taipei Times. "I aimed to create the architecture of this opera house in such a way that the inside and outside are continuous in a like manner to how bodies are connected to nature through organs such as the mouth, nose, and ears," Ito told Domus. Ito has earned numerous awards for his designs, including a Pritzker Prize in 2013, and a Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture in 2014. The International Museum of the Baroque, designed by Ito, opened in Puebla, Mexico earlier this year. The National Audit Office in Taipei stated that the Metropolitan Opera House will likely run at an annual deficit of $4.7 million, according to Taipei Times. In response, vice supervisor for the theater’s promotional affairs Lin Chia-feng called the government's focus on "profits and losses" a "narrow approach." "The theater also has a mission of assisting and fostering the development of local and national performance troupes,” Lin said.
Japanese architect Toyo Ito has unveiled the International Museum of the Baroque (MIB) located in the Mexican city of Puebla, Southeast of Mexico City. As stated in its name, the museum is dedicated to the Baroque movement which began in 17th Century Rome. In a contrast to the intricate details and grandeur commonly associated with the movement, Ito instead employs a sculpted and flowing, all-white, 10-inch thick pre-cast concrete forms that evoke the scale and tension that was also synonymous with the Baroque period. A prominent feature throughout the building, the Corbusier-esque concrete slabs were realized with Ito's firm working alongside specialist precast concrete firm Danstek from Mexico. Externally, the precast walls exhibit a a bush-hammered texture while on the inside, where the concrete was cast in situ, a much smoother surface is used. "In the MIB we try to break and dissolve the cold and rigid order to achieve fluid spaces," says Ito's firm in a press release. "We hope that when people move from one room to another, they experience a baroque space." Indeed, circulation in the building revolves around a light-filled dome. Light, thanks to the coloration of the concrete creates a spacious and calm environment and was an important element in the museum's design. "In baroque art, light symbolizes a revelation from god opposing the darkness of ambivalence," the firm adds. "In this project, light also acquires a special meaning." Rising to 65 feet, the two-level museum houses a curving staircase in the main atrium, a 300-seat auditorium, and exhibition halls for both permanent and temporary installations. Some of those spaces can merge to form larger rooms. Also included in the main atrium are large undulating seating areas that reflect the surrounding water, designed by Ito's compatriot Kazuko Fujie Atelier. The design brief handed to Ito stipulated that the building, due to its location, should be sensitive of its natural surroundings. The MIB sits on a plane of water amid the Metropolitan EcoPark of Puebla; over the last for years the park has run programs examining the relationship between humans and nature. Echoing this, the museum's terraces provide visitors views across the park while the museum itself makes use of the areas steady climate to cool itself and lower its energy consumption. "Citizens can wander around this pleasant park while deepening their understanding of the environment," the architects explain. "We want to create a similar relationship to nature in the museum. The idea of a museum with light wells and fluid spaces that exhibit baroque art, emphasizing the dialogue between nature and man is complemented by a technological proposal."
A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd Street, New York From March 13–July 31, 2016 Boasting models, drawings, and images of over 40 architectural designs, A Japanese Constellation seeks to display the prominence and impact of Pritzker Prize winners Toyo Ito and SANAA and the effect they have had on Japanese design since the 1990s. This is reflected through film and imagery projected onto translucent curtains used to articulate an intersectional spatial arrangement within the exhibition. The feature reflects how Ito’s influence permeates through the works of contemporary Japanese designers such as Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata, Junya Ishigami, Ryue Nishizawa, and Kazuyo Sejima. Many of the featured architects have played a part in the changing face of Japan’s architecture since the 2011 earthquake. The exhibition highlights 44 designs, from small houses to museums, which display the innovation and cross-pollination evident in contemporary architecture.
Speaking of controversy, Zaha Hadid can’t catch a break! Since her stadium design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was unveiled, complaints have arisen about the scale and height of the project. Then two of Japan’s biggest architects—Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki—signed on to a petition calling for a revised design. As of press time more than 26,500 people have signed on to protest the design. Is someone’s star beginning to dim?
It's easy to get overwhelmed at the Salone del Mobile and the dozens of related events during Milan Design Week. Luckily there are plenty of visual palate cleansers in form of immersive environments, from new showrooms by Pritzker Prize–winning architects to dazzling installations by up-and-coming designers. There is more to Milan Design Week than just great looking furniture! At the Triennale design museum, for instance, Paris-based DGT architects created a light-catching installation for Citizen watches called Light is Time (above), featuring space dividing curtains made of tens of thousands of watch plates. For the Swedish textile company Kinnasand, a division of Kvadrat, Toyo Ito designed a luminous new showroom to display the company's fabrics, many of which feature diaphanous qualities. Ito covered the walls in frosted glass, which gives them a shimmering quality as downlights tucked into the edge of the ceiling filter through the panels. The ceiling itself is paneled in reflective metal. Draped fabrics are displayed on curved metal rods suspended from the ceiling. Cassina tapped the rising Japanese star Sou Fujimoto to design a "floating forest" for their booth at the fairgrounds, arguably the most innovative display at the Salone. Fujimoto hung mirrored metal planters from the rafters, which held green Japanese maples. Canned bird noises added to the atmosphere, which felt both natural and surreal within the tradeshow hall. The reflective surfaces forced visitors to slow down within the booth, giving them more time to look at Cassina's classic and contemporary furnishings. Also at the fairgrounds, an invited group of architects—Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind, and Studio Mumbai—riffed on themes of domesticity with conceptual installations called, Where Architects Live. As far as installations like these at a furniture fair go, the installations were largely devoid of the trappings of daily life. Libeskind, for example, sliced deep voids into the walls, inset with screens showing videos about his personal history and architectural projects. Chipperfield showed of his German side, with photos of deliciously drab Berlin and clanging music underscoring the seriousness of the project.
Award-winning architect Toyo Ito can add another accolade to his collection as he’s been awarded the University of Virginia’s 2014 Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture. He will be officially honored on April 11th when the school hosts a talk with the celebrated Japanese architect. “Toyo Ito’s work has this quality—both ethereal and utterly grounded, fantastical and practical—his architecture helps us to imagine new forms of human experience. His meaningful use of emerging digital tools, combined with his sophisticated deployment of non-Cartesian rationality, will inspire architects for generations to come,” said Kim Tanzer, dean of the University of Virginia School of Architecture, in a statement. Last year's prize was awarded to landscape architect Laurie Olin.
Japanese architect and 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito visited the Art Institute of Chicago Tuesday, reflecting during two public lectures on how the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated his homeland changed his approach to design. At 72 years old, the accomplished architect might be expected to rest on his laurels. But Ito said his entire approach began to change during the 1990s. “I used to pursue architecture that is beautiful, aligned with modernism,” he said through an interpreter during a talk with Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho; Yusaku Imamura, director of Tokyo Wonder Site; and artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Instead, he said, he began to ask what elements of a building make it livable. On March 11, 2011, the most powerful earthquake ever to hit Japan killed more than 15,000 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings. Like many Japanese architects, Ito wanted to help. From a series of discussions with quake victims rendered homeless, Ito’s firm developed their “Home-for-All” project. Tuesday evening Ito delivered the Art Institute’s Butler-VanderLinden Lecture, titled “Architecture after 3.11”. He described how government recovery plans failed to inspire or comfort those they were supposed to assist. They were too compartmentalized, isolating, and ignorant of the “dreams and visions” of their users, Ito said. One home Ito’s group built for 3.11 victims salvaged giant kesen cedars, devastated by the tsunami, for construction material — “a sign we’re rebuilding,” he said.
"I was surprised that throwing away the title of 'architect' was so welcomed by people" #toyoito #homeforall — Chris Bentley (@Cementley) October 15, 2013Ito said he’s often asked how to bridge the gap between this post-disaster work and his typical practice. His reply: “Build architecture that is open to nature and harmonizes with people.” Ito’s visit also included a tour of “News from Nowhere,” the first U.S. presentation of the work by Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho. Moon and Jeon meditate on a post-apocalyptic society composed of nation-corporations that control the technology necessary to sustain life after a 22nd century global catastrophe. That equipment is displayed throughout, along with a pair of lyrical videos that sketch the story of two survivors. The exhibition also features elements of Ito’s “Home-for-All” project alongside work from fashion designers Kuho Jung and Kosuke Tsumura; mime Yu Jin Gyu; and design firms MVRDV and takram design engineering. The exhibit is on display at the Sullivan Galleries — 33 S. State St., 7th floor — through December 21.
If design is all about the details, Alessi has developed a successful formula for making thoughtful, fresh, and functional objects that delight design lovers worldwide. A new roster of architects and industrial designers have contributed sleek new accessories and decorative wares for the Autumn/Winter 2013 collection across the Alessi, Officina Alessi, and A di Alessi collections. AN got a first look at Toyo Ito's newest tablewares, Mario Trimarchi's jewelry, and much more. Alice by Odile Decq This year marks the French architect and designer's first collaboration with Alessi Officina. Her angular serving tray plays on tradition with a planar twist from corner to corner that appears to originate at varying perspectives. It's available in black (shown) or mirror-polished stainless steel. Birillo by Piero Lissoni Alessi's first collection for the bathroom has been enhanced with a gray color offering and five new items: a tissue holder, toilet roll holder, liquid soap dispenser, bathroom container with a lid, and a soap holder for the shower and bath. The elliptical form features a concealed bottom for a weightless appearance. KU by Toyo Ito Pritzker Prize-winning architect Toyo Ito first designed his KU tableware collection in 2006 to suit the Japanese portion palette, and has recently modified the series for the Western market. The 2013 update features a larger soup dish and oval serving tray that maintains accord with the the full set, from serving dishes to coffee cups. Vieni via con me and Maestrale by Mario Trimarchi Trimarchi has broadened his La Stanza dello Scirocco collection of stainless steel decorative objects and accessories with two new pieces of jewelry. The ring and cuff bracelet's design emulates cards fluttering in the wind and can be adjusted for custom sizing. MamiXL by Stefano Giovannono Originally released in 2003, Giovannono's collection of glassware and stemware has been updated to today's serving size standards, inspired by the dimensions of current wine tasting glasses. Vessels for several varietals of wine, water glasses, decanters, and tumblers are all made from crystalline glass.
The jurors of the Pritzker Architecture Prize have named Toyo Ito the 2013 laureate. Tokyo-based Ito has long been regarded as one of architecture's most inventive minds, and he has produced a large and diverse body of work that pushes the limits of technology, materials, structure, and form. His buildings often express a joyful or poetic sensibility, and yet he seems to approach architecture anew with each project. This knack for reinvention and lack of a signature style accounts, perhaps, for the somewhat lower name recognition he has than some of his peers, all while he routinely creates spectacular and unexpected works of architecture. Demonstrating an early interest in technology, Ito first named his firm Urban Robot when he founded it in 1971. He changed his firm's name to Toyo Ito & Associates in 1979. He began designing houses in a minimalist vocabulary, often using lightweight structures or unexpected materials. In the mid-eighties he designed a project that used technology to respond to weather conditions, while also providing a counterpoint to commercial signage nearby. The Tower of the Winds, a cylindrical structure ringed with lights, responded the speed of wind gusts through a changing lighting pattern. Arguably his best known project is the Sendai Mediatheque, in Miyagi Japan, completed in 2000, which used an system of structural tubes to support the building, creating new circulation and mechanical pathways through the highly transparent building. His 2002 pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in London deployed a fragmented geometry to create a rectilinear structure out of a cubist interplay of intersecting lines, solids, and voids. In 2004 he used a somewhat similar vocabulary to create a concrete exoskeleton for a flagship TOD'S store in Tokyo, though the pattern of concrete there evokes crisscrossing tree branches. More recent projects include the Tama University Art Library, also in Tokyo, which, with its layering of concrete arches of varying scales, is a kind of Japanese twist on Philip Johnson's "Ballet Modernism," and the reptilian-skinned stadium he designed for the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Ito is the sixth Japanese architect to win the Pritzker, the highest honor in the discipline of architecture. He will receive the award at a ceremony at the I.M. Pei-designed John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston on May 29.
Eleven finalists including Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito, SANAA, and UN Studio have been announced for a major new stadium project in Japan. Tadao Ando, jury chair for the Japan Sports Council competition, revealed the contending designs for the New National Stadium, narrowing the field from the original 46 entries. First, second, and third place prizes were secretly selected on Wednesday, November 7th, but the winners won't be named until a ceremony is held later this month. While we anxiously await the final announcement, take a look at the proposed stadium designs by each team. Scheduled for completion in 2018, the stadium is already slated to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will also be offered as a site for the FIFA World Cup, the IAAF World Championships, and a range of entertainment events. The stadium could even play host to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics if Japan is chosen as their location.