From the architect. With the intentions of designing a transparent cultural media center that is supported by a unique system to allow complete visibility and transparency to the surrounding community, the Sendai Mediatheque by Toyo Ito is revolutionary in it's engineering and aesthetic.
Six steel-ribbed slabs slabs, each 15-3/4" thick, appear to float from the street, supported by only thirteen vertical steel lattice columns that stretch from ground plane to the roof. This striking visual quality that is one of the most identifiable characteristics of the project is comprable to large trees in a forest, and function as light shafts as well as storage for all of the utilities, networks and systems.
Each plan is free form, as the structural column lattices are independent of the facade and fluctuate in diameter as they stretch from floor to floor. The simplest intentions of focusing on plates (floors), tubes (columns), and skin (facade/exterior walls) allows for a poetic and visually intriguing design, as well as a complex system of activities and informational systems.
The tree-like nature of the metal columns of the Mediatheque are continuous with the natural surroundings of the area, as the design is found on a street lined with trees.The building changes along with the seasons, it's openness reflective of the summer green and also the streets during winter.