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  7. AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito & Associates

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito & Associates

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito & Associates
AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito & Associates, Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

Courtesy of Toyo Ito AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito & Associates AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito & Associates © Archienvironment +13

From the architect. With the intentions of designing a transparent cultural media center that is supported by a unique system to allow complete visibility and transparency to the surrounding community, the Sendai Mediatheque by Toyo Ito is revolutionary in it's engineering and aesthetic.

Courtesy of Toyo Ito
Courtesy of Toyo Ito

Six steel-ribbed slabs slabs, each 15-3/4" thick, appear to float from the street, supported by only thirteen vertical steel lattice columns that stretch from ground plane to the roof. This striking visual quality that is one of the most identifiable characteristics of the project is comprable to large trees in a forest, and function as light shafts as well as storage for all of the utilities, networks and systems.

Courtesy of Toyo Ito
Courtesy of Toyo Ito

Each plan is free form, as the structural column lattices are independent of the facade and fluctuate in diameter as they stretch from floor to floor. 

Courtesy of Toyo Ito
Courtesy of Toyo Ito

The simplest intentions of focusing on plates (floors), tubes (columns), and skin (facade/exterior walls) allows for a poetic and visually intriguing design, as well as a complex system of activities and informational systems.

The four largest tubes are situated at the corners of the plates, which serve as the principle means of support and bracing. Five of the nine smaller tubes are straight and contain elevators, while the other four are more crooked and carry the ducts and wires.

Upon approaching the Sendai Mediatheque, the public is led into a continuation of the surrounding city into the double height hall of the main entrance through large panes of glass. This open square includes a cafe, retail shop, and community space that is capable of supporting film screenings and other events.

Courtesy of Toyo Ito
Courtesy of Toyo Ito

Another aspect unique to this building is the involvement of many designers, as the interior of each level incorporated another person. Kazuyo Sejima designed the ground floor, placing the administrative offices behind a translucent screen. 

© Archienvironment
© Archienvironment

The Shimin Library found on the second and third levels include a browsing lounge complete with internet access and specially designed furniture by K.T. Architecture.

The gallery space of the fourth and fifth levels contain a flexible exhibition space with moveable walls, and also a more static space with fixed walls and a rest area with seating designed by Karim Rashid. Ross Lovegrove took charge of the sixth level, adding a 180 seat cinema and green and white furniture fitting to the audio-visual multimedia library.

The tree-like nature of the metal columns of the Mediatheque are continuous with the natural surroundings of the area, as the design is found on a street lined with trees.

The building changes along with the seasons, it's openness reflective of the summer green and also the streets during winter.

Courtesy of Toyo Ito
Courtesy of Toyo Ito
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito & Associates" 09 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/118627/ad-classics-sendai-mediatheque-toyo-ito/>
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52 Comments

Paul · March 26, 2013

Author of this article needs to back to the third grade and learn the difference between it's and its. And the editor needs a slap on the wrist.

r c · December 03, 2012

anyone have photos of facade damage after the 2011 earthquake they could share? thanks.

Tommy Chandra · August 29, 2012

@Andre_Jaya http://t.co/DV69YPat

Nikita. I. · June 19, 2012

@astis ???, ??? ???? ?? ? ??? ??????? ??? ????? ?????????? http://t.co/dPuNdtBO, ?? ? ?? ??? ??? ???????? )

Zarul Nazli · March 22, 2012
Deirdre Donohue · January 09, 2012

Just saw this referenced in @NYTimes editorial : Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/5gEBA9Lj via @archdaily

Melissa · October 21, 2011

@ARTObots Sendai Mediatheque because it changes with the seasons. http://t.co/9A0znAkq and I&#39m kipling on tumblr!

Japoné' culo alrevé' · July 15, 2011

(excelente) AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/IGuLji5 vía @archdaily

Japoné' culo alrevé' · July 15, 2011

(excelente) AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/IGuLji5 vía @archdaily

Japoné' culo alrevé' · July 15, 2011

(excelente) AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/IGuLji5 vía @archdaily

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://t.co/uGbBHPt vía @archdaily

C.E. Oscar · April 05, 2011

I am despirately trying to get a hold of these structural plans. Does anyone know how I may contact the Structural Engineers who collaborated with Toyo Ito on this project?

michaelcollins · March 22, 2011

@mpesce I wonder how Sendai Mediatheque is faring in Sendai http://tinyurl.com/4s9nh2p

sofia pamela · March 20, 2011

Sendai Mediatheque. i loves this one, but now it has been destroyed by tsunami. http://t.co/qdkaTKU via @archdaily

mattsu · March 18, 2011

??????????????????????????????AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/AMZwplB?

dimitri · March 15, 2011

here's some footage taken from youtube during the earthquake
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Mario · March 15, 2011

My foot is visually poetic too, no sendai mediatheque though

Mario · March 15, 2011

My foot is visually poetic too

Pablo Assis · March 15, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://www.archdaily.com/11862... ESSENCIAL

Kitti Siripitakchai · March 14, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/ApqpRL0 via @archdaily

dburdeny · March 13, 2011

if anyone knows of its condition after the earthquake and tsunami please post.

dan · March 14, 2011 02:03 PM

so it's still standing... i was kinda expecting the columns to act like springs.

clem altnacht · March 14, 2011 03:47 AM

Found via Twitter, just a picture :

http://bit.ly/gtg6qP

clem · March 13, 2011

Any news of the building condition after the last events ?

suzique · March 13, 2011

Only freshman architecture students would describe a space as being visually poetic? Im confused.

Jake · March 12, 2011

Was this article written by a freshmen architecture student?

How is the space visually poetic? What does that even mean? What about the plans? Of course the sections are great, but the plans show the field conditions inherent in the project.

Learn to research, then write

suzique · March 13, 2011 12:56 AM

Maybe someone need to return to freshman English to learn what "visually poetic" means.

alison · March 12, 2011

RT @nicholaspatten AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque. http://bit.ly/hVCqsu good choice, sir. love this building.

james · March 12, 2011

Does anyone know how well it stood up to the earthquake?

From some of the videos I have seen of Japan most buildings seem to have resisted the quake pretty well and so is a testament to all those who work in the Japanese construction industry. They have save many lives today.

I can only offer my deepest sympathy's to any one who is in or knows someone in japan.

ilaria defilippo · March 11, 2011

Sendai #Mediatheque by Toyo #Ito • http://bit.ly/fWfEOS #architecture #culture #library #Japan #Sendai

tugce torunlar · March 11, 2011

@dfnty http://www.archdaily.com/11862... en popüler mediatheque bu dfne bi bak

Arno M · March 11, 2011

RT @ludwigmichael: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://t.co/ZsE7xgA Clarity of intent and perfect execution, know what I&#39m sayin? ?????

Mies van der Rohe · March 11, 2011

Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://t.co/ZsE7xgA Clarity of intent and perfect execution, know what I&#39m sayin? ?????

giga · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/Qn4ZghD via @archdaily

Eduard Lepp · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://feedly.com/k/ifDmE8

Daniel Ng · March 10, 2011

RT @jimantonopoulos: Awesome architecture / Toyo Ito
http://j.mp/eeoEdv

daqb design · March 10, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://archdai.ly/glY1Rh #architecture

Melissa Ochoa · March 10, 2011

sobre la mediateca de sendai , toyo ito:
http://www.archdaily.com/11862...

Jim Antonopoulos · March 10, 2011

Awesome architecture / Toyo Ito
http://j.mp/eeoEdv

Milan Kramolis · March 10, 2011

llove this building /// AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://www.archdaily.com/?p=11... / #architecture

megan paige sveiven · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito | ArchDaily http://t.co/QUzEZBJ via @archdaily

Efpraxia Zamani · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://pulsene.ws/14EWZ

mariosaphram · March 10, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://archdai.ly/glY1Rh #architecture

ArchitecturePassion · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito: © RIBAWith the intentions of designing a transparent cultural ... http://tinyurl.com/478d534

yasushi nakamura · March 10, 2011

????????????????? http://bit.ly/hdgFSP ?????????????????????????????????????????????SMT????????????????????????????????????????????????????

IndieVibe · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito: via popurls.com http://bit.ly/gzyNIB

Barry Maguire · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito via ArchDaily - © RIBA With the intentions of designing a ... http://tinyurl.com/4vscbg6

Adrienne Rewi · March 10, 2011

Wonderful building by one of my favourite Japanese architects - Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito - http://archdai.ly/glY1Rh - via @archdaily

Rajan Reddy · March 10, 2011

RT @archfeeds: Via @ArchDaily - AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://dlvr.it/JmfhC #architecture

Glenn Hajadi · March 10, 2011

My very first assignment at school. Groundbreaking. RT @ArchDaily: Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://archdai.ly/glY1Rh

????? · March 10, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito http://archdai.ly/glY1Rh #architecture

Bocetos Digitales · March 10, 2011

AD Classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito: © RIBAWith the intentions of designing a transparent cultural media ... http://bit.ly/ekpN37

orlando · March 10, 2011

This is where the modern manifesto meets the organic thinking. You can see all of the 5 point to a new architecture according to the modern movement, just with a twist of organic shaping.

up_today_arch · March 10, 2011

This building is famouse enough, but I never seen before 3d model, thanks!

æon · March 10, 2011

I didn't know this building at all. The irregular tubes are a great attraction and even more when you realize they are the support and brace of the building.

···

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Courtesy of RIBA

AD 经典:仙台媒体中心 /Toyo Ito