About the Exhibitor
Exhibition Concept by Toyo Ito
The final form of the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House has now begun to take shape after the passing of nine years. The “white cave” that I had proposed in the competition held in late 2005 will soon be realized as a real work of architecture.

Its basic form is a square box, but its interior is made largely of three-dimensionally curved surfaces that blur the distinction between floor, wall, and ceiling. It may be called a building, but it can also be compared to a human body. Similarly to how the human body contains many tubular organs, the interior of this building is penetrated horizontally and vertically by tubular spaces. I aimed to create the architecture of this opera house in such a way that the inside and outside are continuous in a similar manner to how bodies are connected to nature through organs such as the mouth, nose, and ears.

These past nine years have been riddled with challenges. How should the three opera theaters, rehearsal rooms, and a restaurant be inserted into the structure of continuous curved surfaces? How should the curved walls be organized into a rational structural system? What construction method can be used to realize all of this within the budget? After repeated trial and error, the project has finally arrived to the point where it is just one more step away from completion.

The energy that my team has exerted over the course of nine years is steadily being converted into the power of a built object, and the individual effort of each person will soon be transformed into a great joy. At long last, we can look back over the trail we have traversed during these years.

Toyo Ito
Profile
Portrait
Toyo Ito
Born in 1941. Graduated from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo in 1965. Worked at Kikutake Architects from 1965 to 1969. Established his own office, Urbot, in 1971. In 1979, the office's name was changed to Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects. Ito's major works include Silver Hut, Yatsushiro Municipal Museum, Odate Jukai Dome, Sendai Mediatheque, Tama Art University Library (Hachioji campus), Main Stadium for the World Games 2009 in Kaohsiung, and National Taiwan University, College of Social Sciences. His current projects include Minna no Mori Gifu Media Cosmos (tentative title) and National Taichung Theater. He has received numerous awards including the Architecture Institute of Japan Award, Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects, Asahi Prize, Praemium Imperiale in Honor of Prince Takamatsu, and the Pritzker Architecture Prize. After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Ito has been energetically dedicated to reconstruction activity in the stricken area. He initiated the “Home-for-All” project, a series of communal huts where victims of the disaster can gather and communicate with each other. As of September 2014, eleven of the huts were completed, and four more are currently underway. The project was developed to satisfy various purposes including revitalizing the community, providing children with a place to play, and serving as a base for those working to reactivate the agriculture and fishing industry. In 2011, Ito established a small private architectural school ITO JUKU (Initiative for Tomorrow's Opportunities in Architecture), which encourages participants to consider the future of cities and architecture.