Sendai Mediatheque, Miyagi, Japan – Toyo Ito calls the critically acclaimed Sendai Mediatheque -- an art gallery and library -- his favorite work. Completed in 2000, the building employs structural tubes in place of traditional walls. Built to withstand earthquakes, the library is significant for surviving the devastating quake of March 2011.
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London – Ito designed the temporary Serpentine Pavilion Gallery, completed in London's Hyde Park in 2002. The seemingly random pattern is derived from an algorithm of a cube that expands upon rotation. The Evening Standard newspaper called it "a lesson in imagination."
Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, Nagano, Japan – Completed in 2004, this nine-floor theater and opera hall is made of steel and reinforced concrete, with an exterior that mimics a fluid wave. Ito's firm beat nine other bidders to win the competition to design the center.
Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre (exterior) – The design for the arts center uses glass-inlaid panels for lighting that's "responsive to a variety of sequences" for a "random and natural" effect instead of a geometric one.
Taichung Metropolitan Opera House, Taiwan – The design for this opera house, currently being built (Ito won the competition for it in 2005) incorporates the idea of a building merging with a surrounding park and its labyrinth-like open spaces.
Taichung Metropolitan Opera House, Taiwan – The Sound Cave of the Taichung Opera House is a flexible "acoustic space" with three theaters connected to workshops, restaurants and other venues. "Architecture has to follow the diversity of society, and has to reflect that a simple square or cube can't contain that diversity," Ito has said.
Tama Art University Library, Tokyo – Studying is a joy in this light, airy library located in the suburbs of Tokyo. Arches made of steel plates covered with concrete cross at several intersections, allowing the bottom of the arches to remain beautifully slender while still supporting the weight of the floors above.
Za-Koenji Public Theatre, Tokyo – Ito opted for a closed space built of steel-plate reinforced concrete when designing this public theater. The design allows the walls and ceiling to remain thin while providing optimal acoustics. The auditorium space allows for various stage and seating configurations. The building was completed in 2008.
Main Stadium for the 2009 World Games, Taiwan – The 8,844 solar panels on Ito's stadium roof generate 1.14 million kilowatts of electricity annually, making the building productive even when it's not in use. The novel design slopes outward at one end and was built using 100% reusable materials. Completed in time for the 2009 World Games, this is a significant work of sustainable architecture.
Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Ehime, Japan – The architect's namesake museum is located on a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. In addition to displaying designs of his work, the museum also holds workshops for budding architects. Completed in 2011, the museum is made of two structures -- the Silver Hut and Steel Hut. The former is modeled after Ito's Tokyo home, which he built in 1984.