Given annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Gold Medal is awarded to those people whose architectural influence has had a worldwide influence. Born in 1941, Toyo Ito received his degree from the University of Tokyo in 1965. Six years later he opened hisown studio, initially called Urban Robot and later named Toyo Ito & Associates. His style is characterized by the esthetics of lightness, the use of transparencies and diaphanous spaces that often seek to represent the expressive tension between rigid tectonics and the mutability of nature. One example of this was his award winning Sendai Mediatheque design of a building with a translucent facade, arborescent pillars and a minimal number of dividing walls on each of the seven floors. In the temporary Bruges pavilion and the Serpentine Gallery in London, both built in 2002, Ito experiments with organic forms and the repetition of modules that evoke movement, respectively. The architect currently has diverse projects underway on Spanish soil, including the expansion of the Fira de Barcelona convention center and the Relaxation Park in Torrevieja.