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The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945

‘The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945’ is now on display at Barbican Art Gallery, gathering some of the most innovative and leading edge architectural projects built after the Second World War to now. This is a unique opportunity to see some of the best Japanese domestic architecture designs, which reflect the shifts in the Japanese economy, urban landscape, and family structure, shedding new light on the role of the house in Japanese culture over the past 70 years.

It features some 200 works (including rarely seen architectural models and drawings, photography and films) by over 40 architects, ranging from internationally acclaimed masters to younger talents little known outside Japan, celebrating some of the most innovative and leading-edge architectural projects created after 1945 in the land of the rising sun. The devastation of Tokyo and other cities in Japan in the wake of the war brought an urgent need for new housing.

One of the most outstanding works on display is an unprecedented 1:1 recreation of the Moriyama House (2005) by Pritzker prize-winning architect Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA). Visitors can weave in and out of the ten fully furnished individual units separated by an exterior garden, experiencing the remarkable house of Mr Moriyama, which is considered to be one of the most important houses of the 21st century, in an immediate and physical way.

A beautifully crafted Japanese tea house, commissioned for the exhibition from acclaimed architect, and highly respected historian of Japanese architecture, Terunobu Fujimori, fills the other half of the Barbican’s lower galleries.

Other highlights include a full-size installation designed by Kazuyo Sejima based on her House in a Plum Grove (2003); Kazuo Shinohara’s iconic Tanikawa Villa (1974) with its startling soil-floored interior; the Arimaston Building (2005), a remarkable house that former Butoh dancer Keisuke Oka has been building by hand for over 15 years, one 70 cm2 block of concrete at a time; innovative projects from Toyo Ito, including the atmospheric White U (1976) and the visionary Pao: A Dwelling for Tokyo Nomad Women (1985); Atelier Bow-Wow’s charming Pony House (2008); the radical Anti-Dwelling Box (1972) by Kiko Mozuna; and Kiyonori Kikutake’s Sky House (1958), a single-room concrete structure that is suspended in the air.

The exhibition, curated by Florence Ostende (Barbican Centre, London), is co-organised by the Japan Foundation and the Barbican Centre and co-produced by the Japan Foundation, the Barbican Centre, MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue is available to order now here.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
23 March 2017 – 25 June 2017

Barbican Centre
Art Gallery
Silk St,

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