5 Projects by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa

5 Projects by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa founded the SANAAA studio in 1995. They both had remarkable independent careers before turning into partners, but their work has reached a whole new level since then. Their studio is one of the most influential ones nowadays within Japanese architecture. They have a unique style which merges traditional Japanese culture details with a more contemporary style. Here’s a selection of five key works to get to know their architectural approach.

Shibaura House

This seven-story building is located in an area of the Shibaura district that is mainly occupied by offices. It unites spaces for offices with a cultural center, turning into a versatile space. The inner concrete core contrasts with the glass facade, giving the building a clean, minimalist look that has turned into one of the studio’s signature features.

Sumida Hokusai Museum

This museum is located in the Sumida Ward, in Tokyo, where Hokusai was born. It exhibits many of the Japanese artist’s work, and it also hosts several cultural events in its diverse spaces. It has several rooms for permanent exhibitions, a library and a shop, and it is located in a beautiful park. The building has a facade of polished aluminium, with a reflective effect that allows it to merge with nature all around. 

Musée Louvre-Lens

This museum is located in the city of Lens, in Northern France. For this project, the architects collaborated with landscapers to create a space that dialogues with its natural surroundings, which is one of the studio’s main concerns. The whole project is constructed by five structures made of glass and steel, with  glass ceilings and facades made of polished aluminium that reflect the park’s vegetation and create a sense of continuity that is present in several works developed by the studio. 

Port Terminal in Honmura, Naoshima Island

This pavilion is a parking spot for people who visit the Art House, but also a point of encounter for tourists. Even though it’s a small structure, its cloud shape is very representative of the studio’s work. It is 8 meters high, and its structure is made of wood and semi-transparent FRP. It is one of the most particular works by the studio, with which they dared to experiment with a bolder and more artistic style. 

Home-for-All in Tsukihama Miyayojima

This project was donated by the studio after the 2011 tsunami in an attempt to recover the tourist flow to the beaches. It is a pavilion with a wave-shaped roof that responds to its surroundings. It was meticulously planned to adapt to the climate conditions: in summer it allows the southern winds to pass, thus remaining fresh and ventilated, and in winter the carpentry blocks the northern winds. 

Were you familiar with the studio’s work? Would you add more buildings to this list? Share them with us! WE RECOMMEND YOU TO READ 5 Lego Sets That Will Blow Your Mind


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