In this photoset, Vincent Hecht takes his lens into the recently completed Sumida Hokusai Museum, designed by pritzker prize winner Kazuyo Sejima, one half of the acclaimed international firm SANAA. Located in the Tokyo neighborhood of Sumida, the 4-story, angular structure will house a collection of over 1800 works by world-renowned ukiyo-e woodblock painter Katsushika Hokusai, who lived in Sumida over 200 years ago.
Thanks to the invitation we received from the team at The Architecture Project, we had the opportunity to travel to the city of Aarhus, Denmark, and meet with Kazuyo Sejima during the Aarhus School of Architecture conference in August 2016.
Winner of the 2010 Pritzker Prize and founder of SANAA (Sejima + Nishizawa and Associates), Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima talks to us about the importance of white in their designs, with the intention of bringing and diffusing natural light to all the spaces. Sejima also describes how their buildings are able to integrate and bring people together through open spaces that connect, in an almost extreme way, the interiors and exteriors.
1. All black.
2. Black with a bit of grey.
3. Black with a bit of white.
4. Match different shades of black.
Done. Go home.
All jokes aside, there has never been a set uniform in the architecture profession. The truth is, there are a large variety of different architectural practices, and one’s attire to do architectural work often depends on each firm’s unique culture. There are corporate firms composed of hundreds of people in office blocks where “corporate” clothing is expected, or there are atelier style firms where jeans and a simple shirt are more appropriate for the design-build.
The architecture world is unique in that we are expected to be creative like artists, execute like engineers, negotiate like businessmen, and make like craftsmen but at the same time are asked to discover our own unique style and approach. Hybridity and improvisation abounds in architecture, which is definitely reflected in our fashion choices. In general though, the architect’s wardrobe is governed by four key words: eccentric, professional, relaxed and... well, still largely black. Here we’ve profiled a few tips on how to dress by these four qualities.
In this article, written by Christian Dimmer and illustrated with photographs by Max Creasy, the post-earthquake and tsunami coastal architectural landscape of the Japanese Prefectures of Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi are presented and studied.
Few disasters were as complex and their implications as hard to grasp as the compound calamity of earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown that hit the North-East of Japan on March 11, 2011. While over 500 kilometers of coastline were devastated, the disaster unfolded in each of the hundreds of towns affected differently depending on local topographies, urban morphologies, existing landscape formations, collective memory of past disasters and preparedness, and the social ties within the communities.
Kazuyo Sejima is designing a new express train for Japan. Commissioned by Seibu Group, the Limited Express train would be a "friendly" addition to the company's "Red Arrow" series, which so far boasts brightly colored, traditional designs that stand out from the surroundings.
Much like Sejima's architecture, the initial concept reveals a light, semi-transparent design that allows the train to blend into the landscape.
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) hosts a conversation among five of the most influential contemporary Japanese architects: Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata and Junya Ishigami. Moderated by Columbia GSAPP professors Jeffrey Inaba and Kenneth Frampton, the conversation aims to explore the relationships and creative exchanges among this prominent group of architects and designers.
The Architectural Review (AR) has unveiled the candidates for its 2016 Woman Architect of the Year and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture awards. Tatiana Bilbao, Jeanne Gang, Kazuyo Sejima and Charlotte Skene Catling are all being considered as the woman of the year for their impact and ability to inspire change within the profession.
Eleven women are being considered for the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture prize for their "use of innovative architecture to effect positive social change." Read on to see them all.
Easy to overlook behind Kazuyo Sejima’s celebrated control of spatial and material effect is her emphasis on program and its role in the ratiocinated process of form-finding. In this 2002 lecture on her “Recent Work,” Sejima delves into the methodology that informs her work, beginning with two ongoing (and since-heralded) projects: the Theatre and Art Centre at Almere and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art at Kanazawa.
In both of these projects, Sejima ruminates on the intrigue of the microunit, the autonomously coherent spatial cogs that accumulate to participate in the purposeful machine. First within the irregularly-intervaled grid of the Theatre (as studios and staging areas), and second within the cytoplasmic circumscription of the Kanazawa Museum (as exhibitions), individual programmatic components with discreet performative roles seem to float, untethered to each other, in voluminous seas of circulatory space. By segregating elemental blocks within these projects, Sejima exaggerates their apparent autonomies in order to paradoxically draw attention to their spatial interconnectedness.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked the Brazilian non-profit group Arquitetas Invisíveis to share with us a part of their work, which identifies women in architecture and urbanism. They kindly shared with us a list of 48 important women architects, divided into seven categories: pioneers, “in the shadows,” architecture, landscape architecture, social architecture, urbanism and sustainable architecture. We will be sharing this list over the course of the week.
Today we present women architects who stand out for the quality of their work.
As a part of his ongoing film series about Japanese architecture, French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht has created this visual exploration of Kazuyo Sejima’s Shibaura House. Completed in 2011, this five story office space is walled almost entirely in glass and features double-height, split level floors that showcase the paths of travel through the building. The building also features a public cafe on the ground floor, and a roof terrace.
The list of architects that have collaborated with Zhang Xin’s development company, SOHO China, reads like the roster of an architectural dream team (which includes Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, David Adjaye, Toyo Ito and others). So it’s no surprise that the self-made billionaire lectured to a packed house at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design last Thursday. Xin spoke about her commitment to and love of design, explaining that her company’s mission is to bring a variety of architectural languages to China. And though SOHO’s projects are certainly experimental, Xin contends that her developer mindset actually helps meliorate the architect’s propensity to take the experiment too far—all without sacrificing the impressive and iconic forms of SOHO’s building portfolio.
In Chile, a very special project is being developed.
Eduardo Godoy, a design impresario who started his business in Chile in the 80's, has always been an advocate for design and architecture in the country. In Chile, more than 40 schools of architecture have flooded the market, but the ever growing number of professionals has had a relatively small impact on Chilean cities. Seeing the almost infinite landscape of cookie cutter housing in the suburbs, Godoy asked himself: why not break this model into smaller pieces, each designed by a particular architect, each an opportunity for a young professional? With this in mind, and to foster the appreciation for architects, Eduardo and his team at Interdesign started a project called "Ochoalcubo" (Eight-Cubed). His original idea was to make 8 projects, with 8 buildings designed each by 8 architects, to create developments where the singularity of each piece was key, in order to demonstrate how the individuality of the architect could result in good architecture.
News from the 2012 Venice Biennale: Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima has been appointed as the first architecture mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Initiative – a unique program that pairs major artists with young talents. Recognized as “one of the most important creative disciplines”, architecture has added as the seventh category in the Rolex’s global philanthropy program, which already includes literature, music, visual arts, dance, film and theatre.
Kazuyo Sejima is expected to announce her protégé in the Fall. She and the young architect will collaborate for a year on the international project Home For All, which she established with other leading Japanese architects – Toyo Ito, Riken Yamamoto, Hiroshi Naito and Kengo Kuma – in response to the 2011 housing crisis caused by Japan’s devastating tsunami.
The idea will be to design community meeting spaces for people who are living in emergency accommodation. Continue after the break to learn more.