Archive for works

I.M. Pei, an architect who had just celebrated his 100th birthday.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2017 by vincentloy

I.M.Pei, a renowned Chinese-American architect has just turned 100 years old few days ago. A lot of major architecture websites do share news of his centenary birthday and a glimpse of his architectural projects under his career that spanned over six decades. He defied the typical saying that ‘architect do dies early due to the stress, heavy workload and constantly being all-nighter’.

Born on 26th April 1917 in Guangzhou, China, I.M.Pei moved to USA and studied architecture in University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was inspired by works by Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer during his years in architectural education. He was particular fascinated by modern architecture and International Style.

I.M.Pei’s design style is described as modernist with significant cubist themes. He is known for combining traditional architectural elements with progressive designs based on simple geometric patterns. He has designed over 70 projects across the world and has received multiple awards and honors such as the Pritzker Prize (known as Nobel Prize of architecture) in 1983, AIA Gold Medal in 1979, Royal Gold Medal in 2010, Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, etc.

Here below are 10 of his most iconic works:

131 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, USA (1949) – I.M.Pei’s first project.

Luce Memorial Chapel, Taichung, Taiwan (1963)

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, USA (1973)

OCBC Centre, Singapore (1976)

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston, USA (1979)

Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong, China (1989)

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, USA (1989)

Louvre Pyramid, Paris, France (1993)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, USA (1995)

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar (2008)

Looking just at 10 of his works above, you will obviously notice that he applied strong geometrical shapes into his design. It has become his signature approach in architecture. He designed a variety of projects ranging from community centers to highrise towers. He is no doubt one of the greatest living architects of our generation.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Sudden fascination into Ned Kahn’s works, particularly the ones in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2016 by vincentloy

Recently, I watched a documentary from Megastructures series on Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The documentary generally shown us the design development and the engineering marvel of the project which is an integrated resort comprising of hotel, convention and exhibition centre, observatory, shopping mall, casino, etc. Completed in 2010, it is billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property and it subsequently became a new iconic landmark for Singapore. Here’s below is the less-than-an-hour documentary about Marina Bay Sands I mentioned just now:

I had visited Marina Bay Sands twice in the past. I admired its bold appearance, striking design, iconic features as well as its picturesque setting on the Singapore waterfront. As I have been there myself, I saw other things on par with the beauty of the overall form and view of this megastructure that should be mentioned. Those are the art installations in the resort. The most striking installations of them would be the ‘Wind Arbor’, ‘Rain Oculus’ and ‘Tipping Wall’ and they were all designed by an environmental artist and sculptor named Ned Kahn.

His works usually involves capturing an invisible aspect of nature and making it visible; examples include building facades that move in waves in response to wind; indoor tornadoes and vortices made of fog, steam, or fire; a transparent sphere containing water and sand which, when spun, erodes a beach-like ripple pattern into the sand surface. For me, his masterpieces amplify nature, make use of naturally activated kinetic energy, made spectators aware of the nature around us, complement the spaces they are at very well while strongly engage to the public. I’m fascinated by his works which are also present in many other parts of the world.

Below is a video describing Ned Kahn’s works in Marina Bay Sands and the resort’s architect, Moshe Safdie’s comments on the former’s art works.

Beautiful, aren’t they? These works made me admire Marina Bay Sands more as they add extra aesthetics and beauty to the already striking design of the resort.

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Wind Arbor (topmost), Rain Oculus (middle), and Tipping Wall (bottom) are in Marina Bay Sands and are all designed by Ned Kahn. Watch the video above to see how these amazing art installations work.

Dedicated to exploring the physics and beauty of natural phenomena such as Fog, Wind, Fire, Light, Sand, and Water, Ned Kahn uses his abundant technical skills to bring these elements to the public through interactive sculptures and large scale installations in buildings, galleries and science museums worldwide. Giant whirlwinds, dramatic fire tornadoes and rippling current generators call attention to the forces of nature available to us on demand through art yet take place independently through weather and geological processes. Other phenomena such as ocean wave action, wind and the play of sunlight through fog are explored through outdoor installations which encourage appreciation for our environment.

“I’ve always looked at my artworks as potentially serving as reminders of how beautiful and mysterious Nature is, with the hope that when people have an experience of awe while watching a natural process unfold, it can fuel their compassion towards the natural world. I’ve tried to create an art that gives people a chance to have this kind of experience.”

Sources:

http://nedkahn.com/

http://greenmuseum.org/artist_index.php?artist_id=55

Star Architect Zaha Hadid passed away. A great loss in the world of architecture.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2016 by vincentloy

I was in shock last night when my Facebook page was suddenly flooded with news of Zaha Hadid who passed away yesterday on the last day of March 2016. She died of heart attack at the age of 65. Zaha Hadid is a name everyone in architecture field recognizes. She played a very huge role in shaping what contemporary architecture is today from her many prominent design works across the world. She was also regarded as being the most famous architect of our generation.

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If you didn’t know anything about her, here below is some brief background of this talented woman. Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect born on 31st October 1950. She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where she met Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, and Bernard Tschumi. She worked for her former professors, Koolhaas and Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and she became a partner in 1977. In 1980, she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s, she also taught at the Architectural Association, an architecture school which is one of the best in the world.

She became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004), the highest architectural prize presented for an individual annually. She also received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011, another prestigious award in architecture field. In 2012, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services in architecture and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal. In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”.

Her contribution in architecture spanned almost four decades with countless of her completed projects across the world. She was famously known for producing curvy and fluid forms in her designs. Her buildings are distinctively neofuturistic, characterised by curving forms with “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”. When you saw a building that was designed by her, you can instantly recognize it.

I do find some of her projects particularly interesting eventhough I’m not that fond of her works at times too. However, it is no doubt that she successfully created some of the most iconic architectural masterpieces of our generation. Here below are some of her prominent works in the past:

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IBA Housing, Germany (1993) – Zaha Hadid’s first realised project.

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Vitra Fire Station, Germany (1994).

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Bergisel Ski Jump, Austria (2002).

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BMW Central Building, Germany (2005).

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Bridge Pavilion, Spain (2008).

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Guangzhou Opera House, China (2010).

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London Aquatics Centre, United Kingdom (2011) – Venue for aquatic events for London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The building is modified after the games. (two images showing before and after above)

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Riverside Museum, Scotland (2011).

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Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Azerbaijan (2012).

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Innovation Tower, Hong Kong (2013).

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Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park, South Korea (2014).

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Wangjing SOHO, China (2014).

She truly had crafted some of the most beautiful and groundbreaking designs in the world. From small humble structures to impressive magnificent landmarks, her contribution and dedication in architecture was priceless. She truly was one of the greatest architects of our generation who had inspired and influenced a lot of us. A wonderful architect, an inspiring legend. Rest in Peace, Zaha Hadid. We have lost a giant in architectural world.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

 

Alejandro Aravena, winner of 2016 Pritzker Prize.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2016 by vincentloy

Pritzker Prize, awarded annually to honour a living architect (or architects in partnership) is regarded as the highest architectural award in the world. The past winners of this prestigious prize include Philip Johnson, I.M.Pei, Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Peter Zumthor, Toyo Ito, etc. The recipient for this year’s Pritzker Prize had just been announced not long ago, and the winner is Alejandro Aravena.

He is the 41st Pritzker Prize laureate and the first Chilean to receive the award. Alejandro Aravena is an architect born in 1967 in Santiago, Chile. After graduated from Universidad Católica de Chile in 1992, he established Alejandro Aravena Architects in 1994. He was a visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design from 2000–2005 and is the Elemental-Copec Professor at his alma mater. He had also written some books on architecture. Other than that, he was a member of the Pritzker Prize Jury from 2009 to 2015, and is an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 2006 he became the executive director of ELEMENTAL S.A, a company working on infrastructure, transportation, public space and housing projects. In July 2015 Aravena was named Director of the Architecture Section of the Venice Biennale, with the responsibility for curating the 15th International Architecture Exhibition to be held in Venice in 2016.

Some of the many awards he had received in the past for his creativity, contribution and commitment in architectural field are León de Plata XI Bienal in Venice, Erich Schelling Architecture Medal in 2006,  Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2008, Silver Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, Index Award winner in 2011, and of course this Pritzker Prize in 2016.

Aravena has a large portfolio of private, public and educational projects in Chile, the USA, Mexico, China and Switzerland. But perhaps more notably, through his firm ELEMENTAL, he has managed to build 2,500 units of social housing, engaging in the public housing policies of governments where he works and taking an opportunistic approach to market forces to generate a powerful impact on lower-income communities.

“Alejandro Aravena epitomizes the revival of a more socially engaged architect, especially in his long-term commitment to tackling the global housing crisis and fighting for a better urban environment for all,” explained the Jury in their citation. “He has a deep understanding of both architecture and civil society, as is reflected in his writing, his activism and his designs. The role of the architect is now being challenged to serve greater social and humanitarian needs, and Alejandro Aravena has clearly, generously and fully responded to this challenge.” He is also praised to have ‘”risen to the demands of practicing architecture as an artful endeavor, as well as meeting today’s social and economic challenges.”

Some of his famous past works include:

Siamese Towers, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile

Monterrey Housing. Monterrey, Mexico

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St Edward’s University Dorms. Austin, Texas, USA

Medical School, Universidad Católica de Chile. Santiago, Chile

Novartis Office Building. Shanghai, China

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Congratulation, Alejandro Aravena! Before this, not many would know this name. Now, since he is 2016’s recipient of Pritzker Prize, defeating other hot favourites like Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Santiago Calatrava, etc this year, people in architecture field like us would have his name in our minds from now on. He made a mark in the world’s architecture scene, and so his name is worth a part in our memory especially after he won this prestigious Pritzker Prize for 2016.

(Images and information in this post are from http://www.archdaily.com/780203/alejandro-aravena-wins-2016-pritzker-prize/. You can read more about this wonderful architect and his works in that link to Archdaily website).

5 Malaysian architecture and design projects competing in the currently running World Architecture Festival 2015

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2015 by vincentloy

The annual World Architecture Festival is returning back this year as it is currently running from November 4th to 6th 2015 in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. It is a global event that gathers architects and professionals related to the field from across the world for many beneficial functions like seminars, talks, debates, etc. One of the major highlights of the festival is the awards selection for buildings of the year in various categories in competition. There are 5 Malaysian works being selected as finalists for the awards selection of this year’s World Architecture Festival. Eventhough architecture scene in Malaysia is still not very good compared to many other countries, but I’m glad that our local works are steadily improving and now can make an impacting presence in global competition like this one.

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Out of the five projects shortlisted, four are architectural works and one is an interior design project. Will they take home at least an award? The full result of the awards will be announced today and I will post it up earliest by this coming weekend. It would be nice if we can at least win one, but I think the chance is quite low. Now I’m also dreaming that hopefully in future, there would be my own architectural works featured and winning in this festival. Haha….Anyway, here are some quick info of the five Malaysian works competing in the currently running World Architecture Festival in Singapore:

G Hotel Kelawai, Penang
Completed – Hotel and Leisure
K2LD Architects, collaborating architect, T.Y. Au

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Contemporary and sophisticated, the 24-storey G Hotel Kelawai in Penang boasts the island’s first sky bar at its rooftop infinity pool, offering panoramic views of Penang Hill and George Town. On the ground floor, a garden acts as an extension of the public park next to it, providing a green space for people to gather. Looking in from the street and lobby level, one will see a suspended golden cage specifically designed to allow multiple entry points that lead to and connect the lobby, lounge bar, and reception areas. To reduce heat in our tropical climate, the building has been constructed with a dual-layer “skin”, the outer layer consisting of a sun protecting screen made with durable and recyclable aluminium hollow sections on the podium and expanded mesh on the tower component. Deep concrete overhangs that project out from the building floor plates block direct sunlight plus hold the screening devices in a pleasing geometrical form and pattern. Come nightfall, the facade screens light up in a display of colours to reflect the many different festivities celebrated in multicultural Malaysia.

The Spiral Pedestrian and Cycle Link, Kuala Lumpur
Future Projects – Infrastructure
Eleena Jamil Architect

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A green and healthy-living-based design, this proposed development aims to boost sustainable mobility and improve ecological connections in Kuala Lumpur. The architect hopes to achieve the latter by linking key landmarks currently separated by different conditions. The project will allow cyclists and pedestrians of all levels of mobility to move around. The plan includes looking at the possibility of extending the routes around Perdana Botanical Gardens to areas that are currently off-limits. The journey begins by ascending a spiral ramp at one end, taking cyclists and pedestrians across a slip road. Then the path continues along a sloping green edge parallel to a busy highway. Going back to ground level will involve circling a spiral garden filled with an array of local tropical plants. Existing mature trees in the area add to a “forest canopy” experience.

Tree Cube, Kota Kinabalu
Future Projects – Education
Kenneth Tan Design Architect (KTDA)

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This project’s purpose is to transform a school’s central courtyard into a more functional space for both teachers and students. Usable floor space is maximised by doing away with walls, creating an open pathway between buildings and offering a conducive space for teachers and students to socialise. This is further enhanced by the strategic placing of chairs and tables. The plan also involves incorporating two new office floors with staircases built along the side. The design allows a generous amount of natural light to fill the interior, with a tree rising up towards a natural skylight adding to the serenity of the space. A wooden lattice design – representing the branches of a tree which extends downward from the ceiling – decorates the inner wall of the skylight.

The Bamboo Playhouse, Kuala Lumpur
Small Projects
Eleena Jamil Architect

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The Bamboo Playhouse is a public pavilion designed to provide a shaded space for play, rest, meeting points, and performances. It explores the potential of using bamboo as a sustainable building material in a modular structure and reflects the Malay kampung house style, which features raised decks of different heights. From the centre of each deck, a column consisting of 100mm-diameter bamboo culms open up like an umbrella to act as the roof structure. The underside of the roof is lined with a traditional woven bamboo mat. Inspired by the traditional Malay freestanding pavilions called wakaf, the structure will also see bamboo “baskets”, or treehouses, suspended high above the ground. Located in the Perdana Botanical Garden in Kuala Lumpur, it will become one of the first formal bamboo structures in the city when completed.

Expressionz The Loft, Kuala Lumpur
Interior Design – Residential
Motto Designs Sdn Bhd

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This design exhibits creative use of space, materials, and lighting. The layout is kept clean and spacious against a dark palette background, typical of the interior design firm’s signature style. In the living room, well-designed feature walls ascend all the way to the top, exuding a solid look. Furnishing is kept minimal with only key designer pieces to enhance the room while a bookcase lines the wall all the way to the ceiling. The flight of stairs leading to the master bedroom and en suite bathroom features timber finishes and a drop-down shelf that acts as a side table for the armchair beneath the stairway. The minimalist look is maintained with a clever use of space for functional aspects like the kitchen and laundry. The master bedroom adopts a monochrome palette that flows into the bathroom as well. There, a standalone bathtub against a white screen and grey tiled walls with his-and-hers basins completes the space.

(Images and information in this blog post are from this particular source: http://www.star2.com/culture/design/2015/11/06/5-amazing-malaysian-architecture-and-design-projects-shortlisted-for-award/)

Special post to mark Cesar Pelli’s 88th birthday. An amazing architect specialized in skyscrapers.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2014 by vincentloy

Cesar Pelli, one of the famous living architects in the world, turned 88 yesterday. His current age is coincidentally similar to the number of floors of the tallest completed building he had ever designed. Try to guess what building is that….okay, it is the 88 floors’ Petronas Twin Towers, which when built, was the world’s tallest buildings. Now, the twin towers remain as the tallest twin buildings in the world at a height of 452 metres. This blog post is specially dedicated as a tribute to this wonderful architect.

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Cesar Pelli is an Argentine American architect known for designing skyscrapers and also urban landmarks across the world. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) listed Pelli as among the ten most influential living American architects. His contribution to the architecture across the world led to him being presented with multiple awards and honors such as the 1995 AIA Gold Medal, AgaKhan award, honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Yale University, The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2008, etc.

Some of his famous works are World Financial Center at New York City (first image below), One Canada Square at London, Key Tower at Ohio, Bank of America Corporate Center at Charlotte (second image below), Petronas Twin Towers at Kuala Lumpur (third image below), Ratner Athletics Center at Chicago (fourth image below), Two International Finance Centre at Hong Kong (fifth image below), Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts at Miami (sixth image below), One Park West at Liverpool (seventh image below), Torre de Cristal at Madrid, Connecticut Science Center at Connecticut, IFC at Shanghai, and The Landmark at Abu Dhabi.

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His most outstanding work is none other than the Petronas Twin Towers, the buildings I got to see everyday as I’m living in KL. I also like the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts he designed (mentioned above). He is one great man in architecture especially when it comes to designing highrise buildings, a field of which I’m very interested on. He can be regarded as the Father of Modern Skyscrapers alongside with another superb architect in this field, Adrian Smith (who designed Burj Khalifa, Jin Mao Tower, etc). Happy Birthday to Cesar Pelli! Despite reaching 88 years old, he still remains quite actively as one of the Senior Principal Architects in the firm he founded; Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. His contribution to the world’s architecture is immense and priceless and he is no doubt one of the living architects I admired the most.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Pritzker Architecture Prize winner for the last three years

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by vincentloy

Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honour “a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” It is founded in 1979 and is often referred to as Nobel Prize in architecture, hence symbolizing the prestige and top honour of receiving this award. I’m now dreaming of whether in future I could have the chance to win this architecture’s highest honor. It’s something very hard to achieve, but I will try my best.

Notable former recipients of this award are Philip Johnson, Sir James Stirling, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Kenzo Tange, Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Glenn Murcutt, Jorn Utzon, Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel, Peter Zumthor, etc. I recalled the last time I wrote about this award was in 2010, when Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA) won it for that year. Now, it’s time to highlight the recipients of this award from 2011 to 2013.

2011’s winner of Pritzker Prize is Eduardo Souto de Moura from Portugal. The prize was awarded for his work including Estádio Municipal de Braga (image shown below), the Burgo Tower in Porto and the Paula Rego Museum in Cascais. His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics—power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and sense of intimacy—at the same time. His design reinforces a sense of history while expanding the range of contemporary expression through beauty and authenticity of materials and construction.

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2012’s winner is Wang Shu from China. He is the first Chinese to win Pritzker Prize (second winner of Chinese descent after I.M. Pei).  His win is generally due to his “unique ability to evoke the past, without making direct references to history” and called his work “timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal”. His architecture has been described as “opening new horizons while at the same time resonates with place and memory”, experimental, and as a rare example of critical regionalism in China. His notable works are Ningbo Museum (image shown below), Library of Wenzheng College, Xiangshan campus of the China Academy of Art and Old Town Conservation of Zhongshan Street, Hangzhou.

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The most recent winner of this Pritzker Prize for year 2013 goes to Toyo Ito from Japan. Unlike the previous two award recipients, Toyo is more popular and known for creating conceptual architecture, in which he seeks to simultaneously express the physical and virtual worlds. He is a leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a “simulated” city, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”  Ito has defined architecture as “clothing” for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This theme revolves around the equilibrium between the private life and the metropolitan, “public” life of an individual. The current architecture of Toyo Ito is aggressively exploring the potentials of new forms. In doing so, he seeks to find new spatial conditions that manifest the philosophy of borderless beings. His notable works are Sendai Mediatheque (image shown below), Bruges Pavilion, VivoCity Singapore, Tod’s Omotesando Building, Kaohsiung’s World Games Stadium, Taoyuan International Airport,  Torre Realia BCN and Hotel Porta Fira at Barcelona.

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(All information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web).