An important and singular figure of Japan’s young architecture scene, Ishigami—winner of the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010—is the creator of a conceptual and poetic body of work in which the landscape occupies an important place.
For the exhibition Freeing Architecture, conceived specifically for the Fondation Cartier, Ishigami reveals twenty of his architectural projects in Asia and in Europe. These projects will be presented through a series of large-scale models, accompanied by films and drawings, which document their different stages of conception and construction. In dialogue with Jean Nouvel’s iconic building, this event is also the first large-scale solo-show that the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has devoted to an architect.
I wish to think about architecture freely; to expand my perspective on architecture as flexibly, broadly, and subtly as possible, beyond the stereotypes of what architecture is considered to be.
A unique body of work and recipient of numerous awards
Ishigami readily finds context for his architectural projects in the natural world—landscapes, clouds, forests—thus removing the boundary between the external environment and interior space. Situating his work in the existing environment while also privileging the dream world as an important element in his creations, he elevates sensitivity to the rank of virtue.
Born in 1974 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Ishigami belongs to the younger generation of Japanese architects who emerged in the 2000s in the wake of Toyo Ito and Kazuyo Sejima, and to which the Museum of Modern Art in New York has recently devoted a large exhibition. Trained at Tokyo University of the Arts, he gained experience as an architect at SANAA before founding junya.ishigami+associates in 2004. Seemingly free of the rules and constraints of architecture, his work was quickly recognized for its singularity and honored with numerous awards. Among his large-scale projects are the construction of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop in Japan in 2008, a building notable for its lightness and continuity between the interior space and the surrounding environment; the renovation of the Moscow Polytechnic Museum and its transformation into a museum park since 2010; and the design of the House of Peace in Copenhagen in 2014, a cloud-shaped building resting on the sea as a symbol of peace.