Toyo Ito Museum, Omishima Island

Toyo Ito, Pritzker Prize winner by Juhani Pallasmaa and Iwan Baan


Architect and theorist Juhani Pallasmaa has been a member of the Pritzker Prize Jury since 2009. The past 5 months Pallasmaa has been teaching at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Arizona, while staying at Wright’s former home, the legendary Taliesin West studio.

Pallasmaa offers his view on the merits of this year’s Prizker Prize laureate Toyo Ito:

 “During the past three decades, Toyo Ito has been one of the architects on the global scene, whose successive works have redefined and expanded the realm of architecture in terms of structural and technical innovation as well as formal and aesthetic imagery.

He combines advanced technologies and new materials to a formal language that seeks a dialogue and harmony with the natural world. His works are highly professional in their conception, articulation and execution, but humane, inviting and playful in their character.Ito’s architecture arises from the timeless Japanese aesthetic traditions, but it achieves a universal appeal and validity, that has had a worldwide influence, especially among young designers and students.

The fact that Toyo Ito is the third Japanese architect in a rather short time to receive the revered Pritzker Architecture Prize after Tadao Ando and the SANAA Architects, is a convincing proof of the continued strength of Japanese design and aesthetic culture, which has successfully fused into Western sensibilities and new technologies.”

Silver Hut, Omishima Island, photo: Iwan Baan


Toyo Ito Museum, Omishima Island, photo: Iwan Baan42Omishima-TIA-3501

Last spring Dutch photographer Iwan Baan went to Omishima island to photograph the new Toyo Ito Museum and Ito’s former home the Silver Hut, which has been transported from Tokyo and reconstructed next to the museum.

“They feel like a vessel or a ship to be launched”, Baan describes these two unusual buildings. Indeed there is something extra special in those structures as documented by Baan.

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