The Japanese House: Architecture And Life After 1945
The Barbican Art Gallery is currently running an exhibition The Japanese House: Architecture And Life After 1945 focusing on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary design. The exhibition features over 40 architects, from internationally celebrated ones, to little known figures outside of Japan, to rising future stars.
At the heart of the exhibition is an ambitious and unprecedented full-size recreation of the Moriyama House (2005) by Pritzker-prize winning architect Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA) – considered to be one of the most important houses of the 21st century. Visitors are able to weave in and out of the fully furnished units and garden, experiencing this remarkable house and imagining how it might be to live there.
The gallery environment is transformed every 30 minutes by lighting that mimics dawn to dusk, ensuring that every visitor can experience the magic of the buildings across any one day.
Considering developments in residential architecture in the light of important shifts in the Japanese economy, urban landscape, and family structure, the exhibition features over 200 works including rarely seen architectural models and drawings, photography and films.
The widespread devastation of Tokyo and other cities in Japan during the war brought an urgent need for new housing, and the single family house quickly became a subject for architectural experimentation and debate, with architects exploring ways to combine tradition with modernism. The 1970s saw designers concentrating on enclosed houses to protect against the polluted and overpopulated city; and in the 1980s the economic excesses of the Bubble era saw architects embrace the onset of information technologies and produce houses that were exceptionally lightweight and open to the outside world. Recent Japanese residential architecture, particularly in Tokyo, suggests ingenious solutions to the constraints of living in the world’s largest metropolis; while at the same time producing a house with a privileged space for fantasy and creative expression.
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre
23 March – 25 June 2017