This past Saturday brought architect Toyo Ito, called "one of the world’s greatest and most underrated talents" by the NYT, to UC Berkeley. The occasion: to talk about, among other things, his first building in North America, the new Berkeley Art Museum. The crowd was buzzing, perhaps a result of the cosmic convergence of architecture types and others eager to lap up the wisdom of a modern-day Japanese luminary. The soft-spoken Ito-san talked up his concern with making people feel at ease, raising the example of a gallery that made people feel so comfy they took to napping on its mounded floors. BAM's curvy walls follow the same theory: they peel away at their seams for maximum peepage, within the building, and between the inside and outside too. The walls themselves will only be 5 inches thick, a feat accomplished by using steel sandwiched between concrete (but where will all the pink puffy stuff go?!). Word has it the pieces might be constructed in China and shipped here for assemblage. Look out for it 2013.
· Berkeley Art Museum: Game On for Toyo Ito [Curbed SF]
· CurbedWire: Toyo Ito's Berkeley Art Museum Plans Revealed [Curbed SF]