Toyo Ito

This exhibition at Toto Gallery, focused on the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House project, shows how the project has developed since it was selected as the winning proposal.

Toyo Ito
In the competition for Sendai Mediatheque (Sendai, Miyagi, 2001) held in 1995, Toyo Ito presented a daring proposal to create large open spaces by making flat floor slabs pierced by 13 tree-like structural tubes.
In the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House competition in 2005, Ito proposed to create spaces formulated based on his concept of the “emerging grid,” which embodies a highly complex and rich system of order, and he was selected as the designer of the project.
After overcoming many challenges, Ito’s endeavor to realize the innovative organism-like structure composed of three-dimensionally curved surfaces is now finally approaching its finale.
Toyo ito
Top: At the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House construction site (Taichung, Taiwan, 2014/6/11). Photo: Kentauros Yasunaga / parade inc. (amana group). Above: Structure concept model ⓒ Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects

“Its basic form is a square box, but its interior is made largely of three-dimensionally curved surfaces that blur the distinction between floor, wall, and ceiling. It may be called a building, but it can also be compared to a human body.

Similarly to how the human body contains many tubular organs, the interior of this building is penetrated horizontally and vertically by tubular spaces. I aimed to create the architecture of this opera house in such a way that the inside and outside are continuous in a similar manner to how bodies are connected to nature through organs such as the mouth, nose, and ears.

Toyo Ito
Truss wall reinforcing, Taichung Metropolitan Opera House construction site (2013/3) ⓒ Kai Nakamura

These past nine years have been riddled with challenges. How should the three opera theaters, rehearsal rooms, and a restaurant be inserted into the structure of continuous curved surfaces? How should the curved walls be organized into a rational structural system? What construction method can be used to realize all of this within the budget? After repeated trial and error, the project has finally arrived to the point where it is just one more step away from completion.

The energy that my team has exerted over the course of nine years is steadily being converted into the power of a built object, and the individual effort of each person will soon be transformed into a great joy. At long last, we can look back over the trail we have traversed during these years.” says Toyo Ito.

until December 20, 2014
Toyo Ito
The Making of the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House 2005–2014

Toto Gallery MA
TOTO Nogizaka Bldg., 3F
1-24-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

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