Multimedia Library (01:48)
The Multimedia Library in Sendai, Japan, has areas for a library, DVDs, exhibition galleries, and free internet access. Behind the glass facade, white, tubular structures rise to the top floor.
Toyo Ito (03:34)
Ito discusses his transparent design inspired by an aquarium. His 13 circular "chutes" hold up the floors, house the stairs and elevators, and can withstand earthquakes.
Huge Meccano Set (01:26)
Instead of beams, honeycomb plates between the chutes hold up the floors. Instead of a roof, honeycomb steel plates lie across the cylinder tops.
Four Facades (02:45)
The facades have different finishes. Facing trees, the bottom floors' clear glass reflects light, while floor extensions give a floating effect. Ito breaks the artificial order of architecture.
Media Convenience Store (00:59)
The ground floor has a cafe, reception, and shop. The 6 floors have areas for a children's library, internet and administration, reading rooms, exhibition galleries, cinema, meeting rooms, and a DVD library.
Public Space (02:57)
The transparent design encourages the feeling of a public space. Ito talks about different perceptions of space and the blank space between events.
Openness to Enhance Exploration (03:14)
The first floor areas are open for circulation or enclosed by a translucent curtain. Ito gives people many paths to explore by eliminating rectilinear walls.
Sliding Walls (01:41)
Only the 4th floor has rectilinear walls for the Sendai citizens' exhibition gallery where citizens install and dismantle the sliding walls.
Defined and Undefined Areas (02:10)
A translucent membrane undulates around the 5th floor area of offices and the DVD library and cinema. Ito notes the flexibility of functional areas like corridors.
Library Definition (02:21)
The structural cylinders define the space in the library for reading and bookshelves. Ito designed innovative electronic stations for free internet.
Physical and Virtual Worlds (00:56)
As Ito seeks to integrate with the virtual world of the internet, he breaks with 20th century modern architecture to create a place without barriers, leaving room for the ephemeral.
Credits: Multimedia Library of Sendai: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (00:51)
Credits: Multimedia Library of Sendai: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
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