Royal Gold Medallist 2006: Toyo Ito
Copyright Morley von Sternberg.
The Royal Gold Medal for 2006 was awarded to Japanese architect Toyo Ito. He was presented with the medal in person at the Royal Gold Medal and Fellowships Dinner at the RIBA on 15 February 2006.
RGM 2006 Press Release
'We never know what he will discover or devise next or how far he may push out the boundaries of architecture - in this way his activities seem to replicate those of the great Renaissance inventor-architects' - Peter Cook.
Born in 1941, Toyo Ito worked for Kiyonori Kikutake before he opened his own office in 1971, first as Urban Robot (URBOT) and later Toyo Ito & Associates. His early works in Japan include White U (1976) and Silver Hut (1984). He developed an aesthetic of lightweight, permeable membranes composed of fabrics, perforated aluminum panels and expanded metal sheets, seen in projects such as Tower of Winds (1986), Restaurant Nomad (1986) and his acclaimed Sendai Mediatheque (2001). Ito is best known in the UK for the 2002 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, with its playful geometries and his recent experiments with structure and surface in the Tod's Omotesando Building in Tokyo and the Matusmoto Performing Arts Centre.
Nominations for the 2006 medal were considered by a special jury chaired by the RIBA President, which also selects the Honorary Fellows. The jury for the 2006 Honours Committee included Ian Ritchie of Ian Ritchie Architects, Odile Decq of Architectes Urbanistes, Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre, Professor Peter Cook, Amanda Baillieu of the RIBA Journal and Brian Clarke, artist and Honorary Fellow.