Toyo Ito Interview
by Colin B. Liddell
Japanese architect Toyo Ito is credited with influencing a generation of younger architects with his ideas about contemporary urban forms. While presenting some of his recent work at an exhibition at the Tokyo Opera City Gallery in 2006, he spoke with journalist Colin Liddell about his designs, his theories, and their origin. — Editor
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Colin Liddell: In all your buildings, you seem to be trying to get away from straight lines. Do you hate straight lines?
Toyo Ito: I don't hate straight lines, but I have liked curved lines since I was a child. It's a bit like my character. When I talk, when I think, it's not in straight lines. It's a bit curved, it's soft, and in a way it resembles my inner character.
Liddell: Sometimes innovative works of architecture draw unlikely comparisons. Norman Foster's recent building in London is now popularly known as the "The Gherkin," and the Guggenheim Museum in New York is sometimes compared to a toilet. The models for your latest project, the Taichung Opera House, struck me as looking like large piece of cheese.
Ito: When you look at a cheese, the holes in the cheese are all compartments. They don't go through. But in this building, it's the opposite. All the holes go through, like in a cave. There's a continuity. And if you think about the human body as well, from the mouth all the way down to the ass, there's a continuity. It's a cave.
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Taichung Opera House, currently in design, by Toyo Ito.
Image: Toyo Ito
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Japanese architect Toyo Ito.
Photo: Colin B. Liddell
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