Toyo Ito and Hermès – A Perfect Pairing
When Hermès partnered with world-renowned Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect Toyo Ito to design their pavilion for Baselworld 2013, both parties must have known great things were to come. Ito’s progressive, exciting designs were the perfect match to Hermès’ focus on innovative conceptual work and their commitment to the highest level of craftsmanship. The pairing elevated the timeless designs of the French company’s pieces to a new height, and proved to be the perfect environment for their product. Ito's design combined a warm, naturalistic feel with the minimalism and lightness of contemporary design, creating a space that resonated with Hermès’ own unique combination of old- world sophistication and modern simplicity and elegance.
By using a wooden lattice to define the boundaries of the structure, Ito created a pavilion with an inviting openness within and a lightness and transparency when viewed from outside. The balance of interior and exterior space, and of form and light, produce a very modern feel that relies on traditional materials to maintain a connection with the past. The parallel to Hermès’ own concept of melding classic style and timeless craftsmanship with modern design concepts is right on the mark in such a unique and show-stopping architectural space. The partnership between these two great creative entities has yielded something of true artistic merit, a remarkable structure we will not soon forget.