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Renowned Japanese Architects and Artists Create A Series of Pavilions in Tokyo in Celebration of the Olympics

Renowned Japanese Architects and Artists Create A Series of Pavilions in Tokyo in Celebration of the Olympics

Accompanying the ongoing Olympics, Pavilion Tokyo 2021 invited Japanese architects and artists, including Kazuyo Sejima, Sou Fujimoto, Junya Ishigami and Yayoi Kusama, to envision nine temporary structures to be placed in various locations around the National Stadium designed by Kengo Kuma. The initiative showcases experimental interventions within the urban landscape that illustrate a playful take on public space. Also participating in the project are Terunobu Fujimori, Akihisa Hirata, Teppei Fujiwara, as well as artists Makoto Aida and Daito Manabe + Rhizomatiks.

Kokage-gumo by Junya Ishigami. Image © Shuji GotoCloud pavilion by Sou Fujimoto. Image © Shuji GotoTokyo Castle / Makoto Aida. Image © ToLoLo studioSTREET GARDEN THEATER / Teppei Fujiwara. Image © ToLoLo studio+ 17

Suimei by Kazuyo Sejima. Image © Kazuyo Sejima & Associates
Suimei by Kazuyo Sejima. Image © Kazuyo Sejima & Associates

A thin meandering surface of water within a garden, floating white clouds, a street garden theatre and a landscape of burnt cedar are some of the installations dotting various public spaces in Tokyo. Kazuyo Sejima designed a slim flow of water running through the Hamarikyu Garden, with the sky reflecting, plant-dotted surface complementing the serene atmosphere of the grounds. Sou Fujimoto reiterates his interest in clouds with two floating Cloud Pavilions, while Yayoi Kusama creates a white space to be covered in stickers by visitors.

Cloud pavilion by Sou Fujimoto. Image © Keizo Kioku
Cloud pavilion by Sou Fujimoto. Image © Keizo Kioku
Kokage-gumo by Junya Ishigami. Image © Shuji Goto
Kokage-gumo by Junya Ishigami. Image © Shuji Goto

The Go-an teahouse designed by architect Terunobu Fujimori showcases a series of nods to traditional Japanese architecture, reinterpreting the crawl-through door in traditional tearooms and making use of charred cedar. The latter is also highlighted in Junya Ishigami's pavilion, which creates a landscape of canopies within a natural environment. Artist Makoto Aida proposes two "castles" made of cardboard, referencing Japan's natural disaster response structures.


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Akihisa Hirata designed a large bowl-shaped structure to reflect the melting pot of nationalities and backgrounds brought together by the Olympics. At the same time, the street garden theatre proposed by Teppei Fujiwara provides another occasion for people to interact within the public space. An additional intervention is that of artist Daito Manabe, together with Rhizomatiks, which depicts an AI-generated image of Tokyo using various data collected during the pandemic year.

Tokyo Castle / Makoto Aida. Image © ToLoLo studio
Tokyo Castle / Makoto Aida. Image © ToLoLo studio
Tea House “Go-an” by Terunobu Fujimori. Image © ToLoLo studio
Tea House “Go-an” by Terunobu Fujimori. Image © ToLoLo studio

On display until September 5th, Pavilion Tokyo 2021 is a project initiated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo and the contemporary museum Watari-um as part of the Tokyo Tokyo Festival, a series of cultural programs running alongside the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As stated by the organizers, visitors will be able to discover the temporary structures within the National Stadium area much like a treasure hunt, with the pavilions adding a new layer of playfulness to the city that has seen ample redevelopment.

STREET GARDEN THEATER / Teppei Fujiwara. Image © ToLoLo studio
STREET GARDEN THEATER / Teppei Fujiwara. Image © ToLoLo studio
"2020-2021” / Daito Manabe + Rhizomatiks. Image © Keizo Kioku
"2020-2021” / Daito Manabe + Rhizomatiks. Image © Keizo Kioku

Also on display in Tokyo with the occasion of the Olympics is The Constant Gardeners, Jason Bruges Studio's public art installation that features four robotic arms creating artwork using live data from the Games.

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Cite: Andreea Cutieru. "Renowned Japanese Architects and Artists Create A Series of Pavilions in Tokyo in Celebration of the Olympics" 29 Jul 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/965902/renowned-japanese-architects-and-artists-create-a-series-of-pavilions-in-tokyo-in-celebration-of-the-olympics> ISSN 0719-8884
Global Bowl / Akihisa Hirata. Image © ToLoLo studio

东京奥运会系列展亭,妹岛和世, 藤本壮介, 石上纯也等装置亮相

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