japanese pavilion at the 2012 venice architecture biennale
japanese pavilion at the 2012 venice architecture biennale japanese pavilion at the 2012 venice architecture biennale
aug 27, 2012

japanese pavilion at the 2012 venice architecture biennale

left to right: architects kumiko inui, akihisa hirata, commissioner toyo ito, architect sou fujimoto image © designboom



venice  2012 architecture biennale: day one – live!

for the japan national pavilion exhibit in the 2012 international architecture biennale in venice, commisioner toyo ito presents young japanese architects kumiko inui, sou fujimoto, akihisa hirata and photographer naoya hatakeyama, ‘architecture. possible here? home-for-all’, a proposal to offer housing solutions for all the people who lost their homes in the great east japan earthquake of 2011, specifically in the city of rikuzentakata.


‘architecture. possible here? home-for-all’ responds to architecturein the modern era by re-evaluating its aesthetic and formal definition within the context of a site currently undergoing a revitalization. a series of potential projects are displayed atop bases made of solid wood planks. natural timber columns seem to hold the pavilion from the open courtyard below, echoing the the schemes of each dwelling anchored amongst a series of vertical pillars. full-size panoramas of the host city after the tsunami create the setting as a backdrop to the environment.


see our preview article with exhibition design plans and background info here.

 commisioner toyo ito explains the concept behind the pavilion:

‘one characteristic of ‘home-for-all’ is the way in which those ‘making’ the facilities and those ‘living’ in the join together to discuss the project during the design and building processes… why a building is made, and for whom – have been forgotten. a disaster zone where everything is lost offers the perfect opportunity for us to take a fresh look, from the ground up, at what architecture really is.’



see designboom’s interview with sou fujimoto who discusses the themes of the japan pavilion



‘architecture. possible here? home-for-all’ commissioned by toyo ito for the 2012 architecture biennale in venice image © designboom




models and digital media are placed upon solid wooden planks image © designboom



housing proposal image © designboom



housing proposal based on a 3D grid of columns and beams image © designboom



housing proposal image © designboom



‘a concept for a structure like a walled fort for a location where the winds are strong. various events are reflected in the almost topographical surface, which consists in an assemblage of logs. inside and outside. the intention was to incorporate the log.’



proposal image © designboom



tipi-like structure with thatch roof proposal image © designboom



image © designboom



housing proposal image © designboom



image © designboom


image © designboom



image © designboom


central column passes through the floor plans image © designboom



image © designboom



interview with toyo ito, golden lion award – venice architecture biennale 2012
video courtesy of la biennale channel



project info:

organizer: the japan foundation venue: the japan pavilion at the giardini (designed by takamasa yoshizaka, completed in 1956) special support: ishibashi foundation cooperation: jun sato structural engineers co., ltd., daiko electric co., ltd., eastwest inc., DNP fotolusio co., ltd. commissioner: toyo ito exhibitors: kumiko inui, sou fujimoto, akihisa hirata (architects), naoya hatakeyama (photographer)

  • I wish I could be there to see it in person. There is certainly a lot of interesting concepts to see.

    jim C. says:
  • Why isn’t Hatakeyama, the photographer who was part of the team, mentioned in the article? Strange…

    yuko says:
  • We are delighted to announce that the Japan Pavilion’s “Architecture. Possible here?” won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation.

    The Japan Foundation says:
  • dear yuko, thx for your comment.
    publishing ‘live’ in situ is a bit more complicated than from our office.
    we are very sorry that we have missed to mention the photographer’s name.
    full credits have been added now.

    birgit/designboom says:

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