venice architecture biennale 08: japanese pavilion venice architecture biennale 08: japanese pavilion
sep 14, 2008

venice architecture biennale 08: japanese pavilion

the exterior garden and greenhouses at the japanese pavilion
image © designboom

while at the venice architecture biennale 08, designboom also visited the japanese pavilion, designed by junya ishigami. because it is impossible to show actual buildings at the biennale, ishigami has found an alternative format to showing architectural forms by creating an installation which has a parasitical relationship to the pavilion’s existing structure. he has constructed ‘buildings’ at a 1:1 scale, which have been designed with precise structural calculations, just barely able to stand. the installation suggests the future possibilities of architecture, which for ishigami is comprised of delicate greenhouses which have ephemeral physical presence that blends into their surrounding environment. ishigami’s greenhouses are not equipped with air control systems, nor are they sealed off from the outside by a barrier, reducing the feel of an artificial environment. the weakness of the plant barriers result in an ambiguous mixing of elements from the internal and external environment. with the help of botanist hideaki ohba, ishigami aims to present a selection of plant life which creates a slight disturbance in the landscape of the park. at first the landscape seems quite ordinary, but it is this belief that this is an extremely progressive approach to an environment.

upon entering the interior, the japanese pavilion appears almost empty thus revealing the beauty of the original space. the greenhouses which ishigami have constructed are dispersed amongst the pavilion’s exterior using furniture and plants to create the atmosphere of an interior landscape. the overall architecture of the space is not given any definite qualities of a physical object, blurring the boundaries between the interior and exterior, making the japanese pavilion appear as if it is an artificial environment or an element of topography. it was ishigami’s goal to consider both architecture and landscape on the same level, using plants to create an environment which is comparable in scale to that of the built environment. he has tried to marry nature and architecture with each other to the point that the two seem almost indistinguishable so that everything internally and externally exists simultaneously.

wooden furniture adorns the garden creating the feeling of an interior space outdoors image © designboom

one of the greenhouses at the japanese pavilion image © designboom

cushions were provided for visitors to sit and enjoy the garden and the greenhouses image © designboom

plant vines are carefully hung on a chain creating living curtain-like barriers image © designboom

detail of hanging vines image © designboom

the japanese pavilion’s minimalist interior image © designboom

details of botanical pencil drawings which decorate the interior walls of the pavilion image © designboom

image © designboom

detail drawings of domestic spaces decorate the interior walls of the pavilion image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

visitors gathering inside the japanese pavilion image © designboom

the garden furniture being protected from rainfall image © designboom

image © designboom

project by junya ishigami image © designboom

curator taro igarashi image © designboom

related designboom snapshot report: junya ishigami for canon at milan design week 2008

more venice architecture biennale: http://www.labiennale.org junya.ishigami+associates: http://jnyi.jp

  • I like the idea of nature as a simulacrum of architecture, invisible buildings in an artificial landscape create an impossible cultural life form.

    Cuauhtemoc roseva says:

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