Press Release

Japanese architect Toyo Ito to visit campus

| 02 April 2009

Acclaimed Japanese architect Toyo Ito will visit the University of California, Berkeley, campus this month to discuss contemporary Japanese architecture and to attend an open house about the new Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), which he designed.

Toyo ItoToyo Ito
Ito, a graduate of Tokyo University's Department of Architecture, is considered a leading influence in architecture today. His innovative projects around the world are known for the use of steel, aluminum and glass to create buildings that are both permeable and accessible, and that both react and respond to surrounding human and built environments.

Among his best-known projects are the Sendai Médiathèque, Miyagi, Japan (2001); Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, Nagano, Japan (2004); the Omotesando Building for fashion retailer TOD on Tokyo's version of Rodeo Drive (2004); the Meiso no Mori Municipal Funeral Hall, Gifu, Japan (2006); Tama Art University Library (Hachioji campus), Tokyo (2007); and the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House (under construction), Taiwan.

The new Berkeley Art Museum, designed by Tokyo-based Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects, is slated to open in 2013 at the corner of Oxford and Center streets. The open house will take place at the current museum location at 2625 Durant Ave. from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. Models and illustrations will be on display.

The New York Times has praised Ito's UC Berkeley museum design as an "architectural tour de force." Detailed information about Ito and his work for UC Berkeley and other clients is online.

On Saturday, April 11, UC Berkeley's Center for Japanese Studies will host Ito at a discussion about contemporary Japanese architecture, which is known for its blending of Japanese carpentry and architectural traditions with innovative engineering and futuristic urbanism.

Tickets for the 7-9 p.m. event in the Wheeler Hall Auditorium will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Wheeler Auditorium Box Office on the evening of the program, beginning at 6 p.m.

More information about the Center for Japanese Studies, which is observing its 50th anniversary, and its conversation with Toyo Ito is also online.