2013 Pritzker Prize: Toyo Ito

Portrait of Toyo Ito © Yoshiaki Tsutsui

“Although Mr. Ito has built a great number of buildings in his career, in my view, he has been working on one project all along, — to push the boundaries of architecture. And to achieve that goal, he is not afraid of letting go what he has accomplished before.” — Yung Ho Chang, Member of the Pritzker Jury for 2013

Toyo Ito has been announced as the Pritzker laureate for 2013. Ito is the thirty-seventh recipient of the Pritzker Prize and its sixth Japanese recipient.

The Pritzker jury applauded Ito for his ability to synthesize many architectural languages and functionalities in the expression of one personal “syntax,” inspired by the organic structures found in nature and the sensual nature of the human user.

Calling him a “creator of timeless buildings,” the Pritzker Jury further praised Ito for “infusing his designs with a spiritual dimension and for the poetics that transcend all his works.” Among those works, the Jury singled out his Sendai Mediatheque, whose innovative use of structural tubes “permitted new interior spatial qualities,” TOD’S Omotesando building in Tokyo, “where the building skin also serves as structure,” and Tokyo’s Tama Art University Library as particularly inspiring.

In response to the accolade, the highest award in the profession of architecture, Ito humbly expressed that, with each project, he only becomes more “painfully aware of [his] inadequacy, and it turns into energy to challenge the next project.” For that reason, Ito professed, “I will never fix my architectural style and never be satisfied with my works.”

Read more of the Jury’s selection of Toyo Ito as the 2013 Pritzker Laureate, after the break…

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House Bill Proposes to Eliminate Funding for Eisenhower Memorial

Courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial saga continues, as Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) proposed legislation that would forego Frank Gehry’s controversial design and eliminate federal funding. Although Bishop’s radical bill would save $100 million in future funding, it ignores any possibility of compromise.

In response, the stated:

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Christo Unveils Inflatable, Light-Infused Installation in Germany

© Wolfgang Volz, 2013 Christo

The internationally – and often controversial - acclaimed artist Christo has unveiled the “largest indoor sculpture ever made”. Prepared to debut in a public starting March 16, the inflated “ Air Package” has been designed to occupy a 117-meter-tall former gas tank known as Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany. The 90-meter-high, 50-meter-wide sculpture is made from 20,350 square meters of semitransparent polyester fabric and 4,500 meters of rope, with a total weight of 5.3 tons and a volume of 177,000 cubic meters. 

The seemingly endless, inflatable installation was conceived in 2010 and is Christo’s first major work after the passing of his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude in 2009.

More on Christo’s “Big Air Package” after the break…

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Predictions from the Past: New York 2012 and LA 2013

New York in 1962, Mayor Robert Wagner’s Predictions; and LA’s predictions from 1988 for 2013

Throughout history, people have spent a great deal of time pondering what the holds.  Scientific discovery and technological innovation – along with rebellious androids, zombies, flying cars, hover crafts, visiting aliens – have been consistently used as stereotypes that emerge in predictions for our imagined future.  And while Hollywood was busy exploring dystopian scenarios of this near-future, architects were composing utopian images of an optimistic vision for cities.

Architects have built careers upon predicting what cities can potentially become – developing forms, functions, plans and visions of possibilities in the social, political, economic and cultural realms through architecture. In 1962, Mayor Robert Wagner of NYC predicted a culturally diverse, economically viable, global city for New York in 2012.  In 1988, Los Angeles Times Magazine gave its 25-year forecast for Los Angeles in 2013, predicting what a life for a family would be like, filled with robots, electric cars, smart and an abundance of video-conferencing. Find out how their predictions fared after the break.

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Photography: Toyo Ito by Iwan Baan

Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture ©

“Whoever reviews Ito’s works notices not only a variety of functional programs, but also a spectrum of architectural languages.” — From the 2013 Pritzker Jury’s Citation

Toyo Ito has just been announced the winner of the 2013 Pritzker Prize. To commemorate this master architect, we’ve reached out to Iwan Baan, architecture’s premier photographer, and assembled a retrospective of some of Ito’s greatest works (all photographed, of course, by Baan) – including the Za Koenji Public Theatre, Toyo Ito’s Museum of Architecture, Silver Hut – TIMA, Ken Iwata Mother and Child Museum, Yaoko Kawagoe Museum, Suites Avenue Hotel, Huge Wineglass Project, Mikimoto 2, Tama Art University Library & White O. See them all, after the break…

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Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral Underway in New Zealand

Courtesy of Christchurch City Libraries’ Flickr

Shigeru Ban just can’t get enough of paper tubes. The Japanese architect, renowned for his design of structures that can be quickly and inexpensively erected in disaster zones, is at it again in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, which was hit hard by a devastating earthquake last February. The earthquake of magnitude 6.3 killed over 200 people and inflicted irreparable damage on the city’s iconic gothic cathedral of 132 years. The cathedral was a copy of one in Oxford, England, and was one of the most famous landmarks of the Christchurch, pictured on postcards, souvenirs and tea towels.

A pioneer in so-called “emergency architecture,” Shigeru Ban has begun construction on a highly anticipated, unique replacement: a simple A-frame structure composed of paper tubes of equal length and 20 foot containers. The tubes will be coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants that the architect has been developing since 1986 – years before environmental friendliness and the use of inexpensive recycled materials were even a concern in architecture.

Read more about Ban’s visionary Cardboard Cathedral after the break…

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Businessman Offers to Save Brutalist Landmark From Demolition

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Divisive concrete behemoth Preston Bus Station may yet be saved from its planned demolition. On the heels of a well co-ordinated campaign to save the brutalist monument, local businessman Simon Rigby has stepped in and offered to relieve the council of the building planning refurbish and operate the bus station himself.

Read more about the controversy and Rigby’s plan after the break…

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House Vision 2013 Exhibition Hits Tokyo

ⓒ Nacása & Partners inc.

Graphic designer and curator Kenya Hara has put together a three week-long exhibition in Tokyo focusing on the future of the Japanese house. Hara argues that the housing industry can no longer be isolated but must be combined with other industries, technologies and ideas, including energy, transportation, communication, household appliances, the “vision of happiness” pursued by adults, the representation of Japanese traditions and aesthetics as well as a future vision of health. All of these elements he hopes to present and discuss at the House Vision Exhibition where more than ten types of futuristic houses are on display and daily seminars with expert urban planners, developers, contractors, architects, telecom and even gas organizations have been taking place.

Read more about the exhibition after the break.

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Carla Juacaba Wins Inaugural arcVision Women and Architecture Prize

Pavilion Humanidade 2012; © Leonardo Finotti

Brazilian architect Carla Juaçaba has been announced as the winner of the inaugural arcVision – Women and Architecture Prize, an international social architecture award instituted by the Italcementi Group. The prize honors Juaçaba’s work for exemplifying significant qualitative excellence and attention to the core issues of construction, such as , sustainability, social and implications.

More on Carla Juacaba after the break… (more…)

Providence Wins Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge

Courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the winners of the , a competition to inspire American to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other to improve the well-being of the nation. Out of the 305 that competed in this inaugural competition, Providence, Rhode Island, was presented the Mayors Challenge Grand Prize for Innovation and a $5 million implementation award for its “cutting-edge early education initiative”. Mayors Challenge innovation prizes also were awarded to Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Santa Monica, all of which will receive $1 million to support implementation. 

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SEED Evaluator 3.0 to Launch During PID Week

Courtesy of

Design Corps – a partner of Public Interest Design Week – has announced that Version 3.0 of the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Evaluator, an evolving web-based tool, will officially launch next Saturday, March 23, during the Structures for Inclusion (SFI) conference at the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis Campus. SFI participants will receive the first peek at this new, collaborative design tool. Thereafter, it will be available free of charge, online at SEEDNetwork.org.

Based on SEED’s bottom-up approach to design problem-solving that truly activates community concerns, the SEED Evaluator 3.0 not only advocates, but also requires an inclusive and participatory process for achieving successful design projects with involvement from community stakeholders as well as designers and project planners. The tool offers specific steps for creating a collaborative approach to public interest design and for identifying and measuring the success of like-minded project goals focused on the triple-bottom line of social justice, economic development, and environmental conservation.

SEED Evaluator 3.0 breaks down the design process into three phases (application, details, and results) with review and evaluation required at the end of each phase.  The tool helps to ensure that an effective process is followed, adequate participation is included and results are transparent. Projects completed with the Evaluator become SEED Certified, providing project accountability and proof that a project successfully addresses social, economic and environmental needs.

Click here to register to attend Structures for Inclusion and other Public Interest Design Week events, online atEventBrite.com, or click here to learn more about the SEED Network and Evaluator tool, online atSEEDNetwork.org.

Courtesy of Public Interest Design

UK Government Grants Approval to Liverpool Waters Scheme

Courtesy of Rust Studios

controversial plan to redevelop a large area of ’s waterfront has received an effective green light after the Communities Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, chose not to call in the scheme for a public inquiry. The £5.5 billion scheme is designed by Chapman Taylor and provides 9,000 homes, 300,000 square meters of office space and 50,000 square meters of hotel and other facilities. The scheme also includes the 55-story ‘Shanghai Tower’ and a cruise ferry terminal.

The plan has attracted criticism, in particular from English Heritage and UNESCO who worry that the size of the developments will negatively affect the Liverpool skyline, dominated for almost a century by the ‘Three Graces’ a trio of listed buildings that have come to define the view from the Mersey River. UNESCO has strongly opposed the development, placing Liverpool’s world heritage site on it’s ‘endangered’ list and threatening that if the scheme goes ahead, the area could lose its world heritage status.

Read more about the reaction to the scheme after the break…

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The Fujimoto Experiment: Five Students, Five Days, One Model

© flickr – maxximuseo

Last week an online call was put out by Rome’s MAXXI museum promising the first five architecture students to respond a chance to travel to and build a model of Sou Fujimoto’s latest project. The five selected entrants started on their work at MAXXI on Monday and their experience is being broadcast over the course of this week in a series of photos and videos detailing the ups, downs, opinions and thoughts of the students as they work.

Read more about the model and exhibition after the break…

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2013 AIA New York Design Awards

Perot Museum of Nature and Science © Shu He

After reviewing hundreds of projects submitted by New York City-based architects and firms, a jury of twelve eminent architects, landscape architects, educators, critics, and planners convened by the Center for Architecture in New York has selected 42 thoughtfully considered projects for the 2013 AIANY Chapter’s Design . From small installations to large-scale projects, each awarded submission spanned a breadth of innovative ideas in a large variety of design solutions for projects throughout the world.

Winning submissions received either a “honor” or “merit” award in four different categories: architecture, interiors, projects and urban planning. All will be on view at a Center for Architecture exhibition designed by Kokoro & Moi, from April 18th through May 31st.

Join us after for the complete list of winning projects. Click on the project image for more information.

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Yukio Futagawa, Influential Architectural Photographer and Publisher, Dies at 80

MINKA 1955: Japanese Traditional Houses

Japanese architectural photographer and editor Yukio Futagawa (1932-2013) lost his battle to cancer on March 5 at the age of 80 in Tokyo, Japan. Futagawa was best known as the founder of the distinguished Global Architecture (GA) Publishing Group, which he established in 1970, and director of Global Architecture (GA) magazine. Throughout his 60-year-long career, Futagawa photographed modernist works from some of the world’s most famous architects and presented them in elegant magazine and book series. Two of his most important works include a ten-volume collection of “Japanese Traditional Houses” in the 1950s and a lavish twelve-volume collection that illustrates the complete works of Frank Lloyd Wright.

GA will continue to operate under the direction of Yukio’s son Yoshio.

via Informador 

Buckminster Fuller’s 50-Foot “Fly’s Eye” Dome to be Restored

© John Warren

Noted architectural historian and preservationist has purchased the largest of Buckmister Fuller’s ”Fly’s Eye” domes and plans to reopen it to the public this summer for the first time in 30 years.

More on Fuller’s dome and its new owner after the break…

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LEGO® Announces BIG Commission

Courtesy of BIG

It’s official! Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG has been commissioned to collaborate with Ralph Appelbaum Associates () and COWI to design the first public LEGO® museum in the company’s hometown of BillundDenmark. The “LEGO® Brand House” and “experience centre” is intended to compliment the non-public “LEGO® Idea House”, which is also located in Billund.

Bjarke Ingles, founder of BIG stated: “It’s going to be looking at LEGO® from all its different aspects—LEGO® as an art form, its cultural impact. When we were doing the research for it [the LEGO® house], we realized, if you would consider it just an art museum, you would be able to fill it with so much user content of such a high quality…it is one of our great dreams at BIG that we are now able to design a building for and with the LEGO® group. I owe a huge personal debt to the LEGO® brick, and I can see in my nephews that its role in developing the child as a creative, thinking, imaginative human being becomes ever stronger in a world in which creativity and innovation are key elements in virtually all aspects of society.”

More on LEGO®’s BIG commission after the break…

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Happy Birthday to Us: ArchDaily Turns 5!

has fed the addiction of architecture to me. The first thing I do in the morning and before I go to sleep, is check from the most interesting and inspiring designs from around the world utilizing the most advanced and socially responsible techniques. Architecture and design choose the user, the user does not choose architecture and design. In this way has allowed the creativity to flow more rapidly throughout my veins and caus[ed] more creativity to flourish. Thank you for aiding in times of frustration and times of designer block. Thank you for the effort you put forth for the architecture and design community, and you are a vital resource.” - Chris Siminski, ArchDaily reader and Facebook Fan

Five years ago, ArchDaily was a tiny 5-man operation, spearheaded by two Architecture grads with a very simple dream: to shake-up and democratize traditional architectural media. Fast-forward five years later, and we’re the most visited architecture web site in the world, with over 280,000 daily readers and 70 million pageviews every month.

We’re celebrating today with a doodle (see above) and lots of fantastic content – keep your eyes peeled for the 20 Most Visited Projects of All Time, the 5 Most Read Posts of All Time, and an ArchDaily original Infographic telling our story.

And of course, we’d like to use this occasion to thank you, ArchDaily readers. You’ve meant everything to us these past 5 years, and we’d love it if you could tell us what we’ve meant for you. So please share your thoughts in the comments below! And have a very happy ArchDaily birthday!

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