I think it’s worth the time of every Washingtonian who thinks they know what’s up in architecture to hear Toyo Ito speak at the National Building Museum. Ito won the 2013 Pritzker Prize, and has produced some pretty astonishing buildings, most notably the Taichung Opera House, sponge-like chunk of an infinite minimal surface algorithmically drawn around the program. Were it not for a few doors, the building would be two separate spaces, absolutely enmeshed in each other. Even with the breaks, the surface segregates spaces so that there’s neither figure nor ground and there is no evidence for the other mirror-image space. There’s a similar manipulation of space in the unbuilt Berkeley Art Museum.
The Meiso no Mori funeral hall (above) was a point of departure for one of my projects, along with other projects by Ito, Akihisa Hirata, SANAA, and Junya Ishigami’s KAIT workshop. Their buildings precisely emulate natural phenomena with a spare aesthetic. Their anti-iconic and open-ended spaces they produce are a nice respite from DC’s inclination.
Wednesday, October 16th, 6:30PM. National Building Museum. Judiciary Square Metro.