On Monday, the architect was announced the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, joining past Pritzker Laureates that include Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas.
“As I did not expect it, I felt really grateful and honored to be awarded the prize,” Ito told CNN.
In addition to his abstract, beautiful buildings, the Tokyo-based architect is also known for his extensive work on communal centers as part of the reconstruction in Japan following the 2011 tsunami.
Ito, whose family ran a miso (bean paste) factory following his father’s early death when Ito was 12, has said he wasn’t interested in architecture as a youth. He began taking an interest while attending the University of Tokyo.
Throughout his career, Ito’s designs have been unusual, vivid and minimalistic — from the aluminum house he designed for his sister to the Sendai Mediatheque in Miyagi, Japan, which he describes as his professional highlight.
The Pritzker committee jury raved about his lifework of defying standard distinctions. It will officially bestow its award at a ceremony in Boston on May 29.
Together with the 40 employees of his namesake firm, Toyo Ito & Associates, the architect is currently working on projects in Taiwan, Singapore and Japan.
“I travel 50 to 60 times per year for work,” says Ito. “I love any place where I work.”
Read more: Top architect named: Tour Toyo Ito’s unusual buildings – Source: CNN