Japanese architect Toyo Ito has won the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
The 71-year-old architect, whose work includes the 2002 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London, is the fifth Japanese architect to become a Pritzker Laureate, an esteemed title thought to be the world’s highest honour in architecture.
Known for his conceptual buildings, Ito has worked as an architect for over 50 years since graduating from Tokyo University in 1965. In 1971 he founded his own studio in Tokyo named Urban Root, before changing its name to Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects.
The prize, founded in 1979, was established to honour a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision and commitment. Past winners have included Frank Gehry, IM Pei and Renzo Piano.
Pritzker Prize jury chariman Lord Palumbo said: “Throughout his career, Toyo Ito has been able to produce a body of work that combines conceptual innovation with superbly executed buildings.
Creating outstanding architecture for more than 40 years, he has successfully undertaken libraries, houses, parks, theatres, shops, office buildings and pavilions, each time seeking to extend the possibilities of architecture. A professional of unique talent, he is dedicated to the process of discovery that comes from seeing the opportunities that lie in each commission and each site.”
Ito accepted the title of Pritzker Laureate, but said he continues to strive for perfection: “When one building is completed, I become painfully aware of my own inadequacy, and it turns into energy to challenge the next project. Probably this process must keep repeating itself in the future. Therefore, I will never fix my architectural style and never be satisfied with my works.”