Sendaï Media Center, Japan

Designed by Toyo Ito, this mediatheque was built in 2001. The transparent and organic design reveals all the cultural activities hosted and make the frontier between outdoor and indoor public space disappear.

A 26 minute documentary – produced by ARTE (French and German TV channel) in 2005 – explains all the physical and sociological concept which led to the Sendaï Media Center. This interesting documentary is based on an interview of Toyo Ito himself.

Extract regarding public space

“The ground floor, a seven meter high glazed area, access is from all sides, this is for general traffic and a meeting place. They are in the building but they can enjoy the city as if they were into the street. This is a public space. In fine weather, the feeling of being in an outside square becomes reality. Facing the tree along the avenue, the facade articulated in 8 large panels can completely withdraw into itself.

The line between the street and the ground floor of the building blurs, making it difficult to distinghish the outside from the inside, the architecture fades away.”

A more conceptual tribute video was also made about this building. This short video clip shows the structure of the building and how meeting places are created all over the space.


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