A portico facing the lake, a covered walkway, a canopy perched on white columns for an atmospheric landscape made of lines and light, sheltering a secluded cavern, a place of shared memory. It is the Meguri no Mori, the Funeral Hall of the city of Kawaguchi, Japan.
Contact with the natural elements, water, vegetation and light, has a calming, comforting effect, and Japanese architecture has always incorporated natural features, sometimes in miniature form, for purposes of harmony and peace. A farewell temple, in a crematorium, is a perfect theme for Toyo Ito.
Across periods, places and projects of great variety, from the small single-family houses like the beautiful White U, which brought him international acclaim in 1976, to the complex, large buildings, like the Sendai Mediatheque and the National Taichung Theater in Taiwan, the Japanese master has transformed the material nature of buildings, playing with effects of transparency and lightness in pursuit of a personal ideal of dematerialization.