Sunday, the Hyatt Foundation announced that Toyo Ito is the 2013 recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, an annual award which recognizes “a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” I didn’t realize until I had read the full announcement that the first studio opened by Ito was called Urban Robot. We’ve talked about Ito a few times on the blog, but there are some other excellent projects worth mentioning.
This biggest architecture-related news bouncing around the internet today is that Toyo Ito has been selected as this year’s recipient of the the Pritzker Prize. Expect a longer post about that later today or tomorrow. First, I thought we’d return to the idea that healthcare architecture is ugly with a counterexample. Here we have the Chiyodanomori Dental Clinic designed by Hironaka Ogawa. Of course it’s easier to find a pristine small clinic than a big, enormous hospital but this one is still exceptionally well done.
When Bobby first floated the idea of spending a whole week talking about Iceland, it occurred to me that I didn’t know anything about Iceland other than Björk. Well maybe I knew a little bit more. I knew the most visible work of contemporary architecture in the country is undoubtedly the Harpa Concert Hall, which we’ve already talked about a few times before Bobby even knew he was going to Iceland. But I did learn this week that the concert hall looks like this at night and that the irregular facade of Harpa mimics the basalt geology that you can find in other parts of Iceland.
These are images of Villa Lola designed by Arkis Arkitektar. It’s built near Akureyri, not too far from the cultural center we talked about the other day. The weird thing is that even though we can mostly find images of the exterior of the project (which is how most of the public will experience the building) the folks that own the house will spend most of their time indoors, enjoying it’s private spaces privately. Partly, this is a problem of presentation and likely true for most projects you can read about on the internet, but it may be especially true in Iceland where long and dark Winters keep most folks indoors.
It’s interesting to me when one culture borrows from another culture, and in this case, someone borrowing from a classic American concept: the convenience store. Designed by KRADS, an architectural studio based in Denmark and Iceland, this “roadside stop” as they call it is essentially trying to outdo what’s come before.