Founded in 1995 by architects Kazuyo Sejima (born 29 October 1956) and Ryue Nishizawa (born 7 February 1966), SANAA is world-renowned for its white, light buildings grounded in the architects’ Japanese cultural origins. Despite the white exteriors, their architecture is far from modernist; the constant incorporation of ambiguity and doubt in SANAA’s buildings is refreshing and playful, taking the reflective properties of glass and brightness of white to a new level.
SANAA’s Grace Farms has been announced as the winner of the 2014/2015 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), recognizing the most distinguished architectural works built on the North and South American continents.
The project was selected from a shortlist of seven finalists, joining Alvaro Siza’s Iberê Camargo Foundation and Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road as winners of the highly-regarded prize.
“Among a strong group of projects Grace Farms emerged as a clear winner for the clarity and consistency of its architectural solution,” said Stan Allen, MCHAP Jury President.
“The jury was struck by the radical way in which the line between architecture and landscape is blurred by the ‘River’ building. The firsthand experience of the building reveals a confident realization and the immediacy of its detailing. Finally, the Grace Farms project uniquely demonstrates architecture’s capacity to make a place for an innovative new institution.”
Learn more about the project after the break.
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.
The office of Peter Zumthor has been selected to design an expansion to the Beyeler Foundation, located just outside Zumthor’s childhood home of Basel, Switzerland. The Swiss architect was chosen from a prestigious shortlist of 11 firms to add to the existing museum building, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and completed in 1997.
“The sky above Basel, the city and its surroundings–those are the landscapes of my youth,” said Zumthor. “It is heart-warming to be able to design a major building here.”
OPEN, SANAA, Jean Nouvel & David Chipperfield Shortlisted in Competition for Pudong Art Museum in Shanghai
Recently, Shanghai organized an international competition for the new Art Museum of Pudong. The site of the project is located at a prominent spot on the tip of Pudong’s Lujiazui CBD area directly below the Oriental Pearl Tower. Looking across Huangpu River from the Bund, the iconic skyline of Lujiazui has been such a symbolic image of modern Shanghai that any addition or alteration to this image is extremely sensitive. So the site has been deliberately left vacant for years, awaiting a significant cultural institute and meaningful contribution to the urban life at the megapolis.
The New Museum is the product of a daring vision to establish a radical, politicized center for contemporary art in New York City. With the aim of distinguishing itself from the city’s existing art institutions through a focus on emerging artists, the museum’s name embodies its pioneering spirit. Over the two decades following its foundation in 1977, it gained a strong reputation for its bold artistic program, and eventually outgrew its inconspicuous home in a SoHo loft. Keen to establish a visual presence and to reach a wider audience, in 2003 the Japanese architectural firm SANAA was commissioned to design a dedicated home for the museum. The resulting structure, a stack of rectilinear boxes which tower over the Bowery, would be the first and, thus far, the only purpose-built contemporary art museum in New York City.
Lasting for close to two decades now, the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition has become one of the most anticipated architectural events in London and for the global architecture community. With this year’s edition featuring not just one pavilion but four additional “summer houses,” the program shows no sign of slowing down. Each of the previous sixteen pavilions have been thought-provoking, leaving an indelible mark and strong message to the architectural community. And even though each of the past pavilions are removed from the site after their short summer stints to occupy far-flung private estates, they continue to be shared through photographs, and in architectural lectures. With the launch of the 16th Pavilion this month, we take a look back at all the previous pavilions and their significance to the architecturally-minded public.
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.
Seven projects have been named finalists in the second edition of the biennial Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP). Selected from a pool of 175 nominees, the chosen buildings represent the best built works of architecture realized in the Americas from January 2014 to December 2015. The inaugaral award, which was given to the best project from 2000-2013, was shared by Álvaro Siza's Iberê Camargo Foundation and Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road.
Continue after the break for the list of finalists.
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.
Grace Farms by SANAA perfectly illustrates the firm’s sinuous, elegant style, combining their understanding of glass and structure to create spaces so fluid that they’re hard to believe from just a photo. A new time lapse by Work Zone Cam shows the construction of this project in HD, capturing a period between September 2013 and October 2015. Work Zone Cam worked with Project Manager, Paratus Group, to document Grace Farms’ construction, including its central piece “The River”: a ribbon-like roof that blends seamlessly with the landscape. Watch the entire construction of the project in just 180 seconds after the break.
Columbia University student and architectural photographer Songkai Liu has shared images with us from his recent trip to Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut. The 80-acre non-profit farm, landscaped by OLIN, boasts a newly completed multipurpose pavilion designed by SANAA that provides a non-intrusive space for community events, services and worship.
"SANAA’s goal was to make the architecture of the River become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building, with the hope that those who are on the property will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River," described the architect.
After having tied with Snøhetta in a restricted competition to design the New National Gallery -- Ludwig Museum in Budapest, SANAA’s proposal has ultimately been selected as the winner, following negotiations held over the past few months. The gallery and museum will be located in the 200-year-old Városliget (City Park) and are part of the larger Liget Budapest project, which seeks to revive the park by 2018 with the addition of five new museum buildings, including Sou Fujimoto’s House of Hungarian Music.
BIG, SANAA and Lacaton & Vassal Preselected in Competition to Design the New Aarhus School of Architecture
After receiving applications from 42 teams to pre-qualify for participation in a competition to design the new Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark, three teams have been selected: Lacaton & Vassal, along with Powerhouse and Kristine Jensens Tegnestue; SANAA, along with B+G Ingenieure and Sasaki and Partners; and BIG along with Transform, Rambøll and SLA.
Photographer Paul Clemence of ARCHI-PHOTO has shared with us images of SANAA's latest completed work, Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut. Known as "The River" for the way it flows through the site across a level change of almost 44 feet (13.4 meters), the building was conceived to "become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building" in order to give visitors a greater appreciation of the surrounding natural space that will be preserved by the Grace Farms Foundation. The building itself, meanwhile, will be made available to Grace Community Church and other nonprofit and community groups for a wide range of community and cultural events. Read on for Paul Clemence's full photoset.
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.
Tokyu Corporation has unveiled a new skyscraper planned will rise adjacent to Tokyo's Shibuya Station. A collaborative design by Japanese firms Kengo Kuma, SANAA and Nikken, the 230-meter mixed use tower will feature an unprecedented, 3,000-square-meter public sky deck that promises "views of Mt. Fuji" (on a clear day).