Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, discusses Ito's 40-year body of work and the Pritzker jury's "return to form" after "honoring younger and lesser-known figures in recent years..."
"[Ito] is best known for his 2001 Sendai Mediatheque, a seven-story glass box of a building that was dramatically shaken, though only lightly damaged, by the Tohoku earthquake two years ago," writes Hawthorne. "Like much of his work, it distills a series of complex technical breakthroughs into a spare, even-keeled finished product."
"For Ito, the building’s innovative structural system was the byproduct of an effort to open up space and sightlines inside; his goal was to allow as much interaction and free movement on each floor as possible, so that the building might replicate some of the urban energy of the street outside."
"Ito is the sixth Pritzker winner from Japan, joining Kenzo Tange (1987) and Fumihiko Maki (1993) along with [Tadao] Ando, [Ryue] Nishizawa and [Kazuyo] Sejima," adds Hawthorne. "In a statement, the Pritzker jury, which includes the Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer as well as architects Glenn Murcutt, Yung Ho Chang and Alejandro Aravena, praised Ito for the ambition of his civic projects, in particular, and for producing buildings that 'seem effortlessly in balance.'"