Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA discuss their recent works.
This lecture is part of the series "A New Innocence: Emerging Trends in Japanese Architecture" sponsored by the Dean's Office and made possible with the support of Harvard University Asia Center.
Lecture date: 2001-11-29
Kazuyo Sejimas work has ranged from residential buildings to museums and international competitions. In the Gifu Kitagata apartment building and the Mulitimedia Workshop in Oogaki her architectural materials are seamlessly juxtaposed to dramatic effect. In this lecture Sejima discusses some of her recent projects, focusing on those produced in collaboration with Ryue Nishizawa.
Lecture date: 2009-01-13
The history of the modern window is the history of communication: Le Corbusier's horizontal window is unthinkable outside of cinema, the Eames House unthinkable outside of the colour slide, and the midcentury picture window unthinkable outside television. In each case, the ambition to dissolve the line between inside and outside is realised by absorbing the latest realities of communication. Today, new forms of advanced surveillance technologies operate in the city, and these models of vision act as new paradigms. The glass box has become something else altogether.
Beatriz Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. Her books include Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media and Domesticity at War.
Brett Steele introduces Beatriz Colomina.
BEATRIZ COLOMINA: Thank you very much, it’s very exciting to be here at the AA, and I was just thinking that it was here where I first lectured outside the United States, on what would later become my article on Loos and the windows, given here on the last sprint of Alvin Boyarsky.
I’m going to talk about the glass pavilions between let’s say, Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe, and SANAA. I’m going to put that in context of technologies of communication, and technologies of surveillance. In fact, this question of the relationship with glass and the technologies of communication has been an ongoing inspiration, so to speak, in my research, a thread. The history of the modern window, for me, it’s a history of communication. Le Corbusier’s horizontal window, for example, I think it’s completely unthinkable outside cinema, not only did Le Corbusier think that film was the best way to represent modern architecture, but the frame itself, the way we see the world, if you think of architecture as a machine to see—is unthinkable outside the cinematographic frame. Likewise, I have tried to demonstrate quite recently that the Eames house is unthinkable outside the colour slide that was introduced during this years, and made possible for them to make thousands and thousands of colour slides of their house, and this is the way in which it’s represented, in this kaleidoscopic view of colour slides. The picture window at mid century is unthinkable outside television, that is in each case the case the ambitions of modern architecture to dissolve the line between inside and outside, by absorbing the latest technologies of communication. So, if communication is always about bringing the outside in, for example when reading a newspaper, to bring in world events into your life, or getting the inside out, by sending a letter. It’s quite beautiful in this advertisement of 1950 windows in America, that there is precisely a mailman bringing a letter. So, if communication is about bringing the outside in or the inside out, it will seem as if glass represents this act of communication. It is almost as if the glass, takes more and more of the building, as the systems of communication become more and more fluid. Having dissolved the wall into glass, the question becomes how to dissolve the glass itself, into a delicate line between inside and outside. It is the relentless quest for greater fluidity between outside and inside s no longer as simply driven towards transparency, but as we will see with SANAA, the glass box has become something else altogether. So, to show this I will like to go back to the glass house at mid century, the glass house of Philip Johnson and then move from there to the glass house of today, as represented in the world of Kazuyo Sejima. So lets go back to Philip Johnson: the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Philip Johnson is the glass house, but I’m going to introduce another question here, which is methodological: what if instead of relying on his 1950s article where he gives us all the laundry list of the influences that Boulé influenced him, that he copied from Mies, that all the sources, all the mountains of articles accumulated over the years about this house—what if instead of all of this, we take the 20 to 30 television programs that Johnson did in the course of his life? So the hypothesis is: what if the glass house was made for TV? What if Johnson was himself made for TV? I’m going to pass you a clip of one of these TV programs. [Shows clip].
Two really persistent dreams of the 20th century, that of the glass house and of television, were finally realized at around the same time and around the same place: the suburbs of America. Experimental glass with glass fantasies have been playing a role in science fiction, and also in modern architecture since at least the mid 19th century, only by mid 20th century was the dream finally in
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 2:00pm
Introduction by Jeffrey Inaba
Toyo Ito, Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects
Kazuyo Sejima, S A N A A
Sou Fujimoto, Sou Fujimoto Architects
Akihisa Hirata, Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office
Junya Ishigami, Junya Ishigami + Associates
Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP
Jeffrey Inaba, Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia GSAPP
Offering a panorama of internationally-acclaimed and up-and-coming architects from Japan, the panel will present past and current projects and discuss shared architectural themes that extend across the three generations of practitioners.
Presented in collaboration with the Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The exhibition A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond is open March 13- July 4, 2016
Special thanks to Sachi Hoshikawa and Akihisa Hirata for coordination and organization in support of this event.
The 2009 Pavilion was designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of leading Japanese architecture practice SANAA. Sejima and Nishizawa created a stunning Pavilion that resembled a reflective cloud or a floating pool of water, sitting atop a series of delicate columns.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall
Canopy: Gathering Space (Kazuyo Sejima)
Response by Dean Amale Andraos
In her first appearance at GSAPP since 2007, Kazuyo Sejima presents recent work by SANAA, the Tokyo-based firm she founded with Ryue Nishizawa in 1995. Their international portfolio includes the seven stacked boxes of the New Museum on Manhattan’s Bowery, whose porous aluminum facade captured the zeitgeist—New York Times called it a “striking expression of the neighborhood’s warring identities”—as well as retail and exhibition spaces in Japan, the US, and London’s Hyde Park, where SANAA designed the Serpentine Pavilion in 2009. Elsewhere, she has shared the 2010 Pritzker Prize, directed the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, and debuted the Rolex Learning Centre at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, which Justin McGuirk likened to a pinball machine, indoor ski slope, traditional college green, plant cells replicating, and slice of Emmental that “dissolve[s] any distinctions between formal and casual spaces, between classrooms and corridors, between work and rest.”
Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010. Produced by the Institute of the 21st Century with support from ForYourArt, The Kayne Foundation, Brenda R. Potter, Catharine and Jeffrey Soros
Gary Paige introduces Sejima’s lecture as part of the series “Differentiated Topographies.” The works to be shown include competitions and recent works, both japanese and international. Sejima is described as an investigator of materiality, immateriality, and lightness.
With Birgitta Wohl providing English translation, Kazuyo Sejima presents a proposal for a multimedia center in Gifu, Japan. She explains the primary intention to maintain a connection between interior and exterior. The connection of the roof with the landscape is stressed. Finally, Sejima explains how any artist can make his or her own space in any part the building.
Sejima presents a small museum in a village, one of her recently completed works. She explains that the museum exhibits the work of Japanese painters, and the transmission of natural light must be restricted. She notes that the building changes according to the season, time of day and weather conditions through the utilization of various glazing. Sejima presents another early project, the S House.
Sejima presents a project for apartment housing in Gifu, Japan. The primary concern was to make the volume of the housing block as thin as possible. She explains that the project entailed a thoughtful consideration of public and private zones. Each dwelling has a private terrace space, and the complex creates a hierarchy of public and private circulation routes. A brief documentation of a small, outdoor cafe is included.
Sejima presents her office’s entry for a competition for the IIT student center. The first consideration was to create connections between academic and residential areas. Next, Sejima addresses the division of the large site into discreet spaces. She then discusses how to approach an existing rail line that cuts through the site.