junya ishigami wins golden lion for best project at the venice biennale
japanese firm junya.ishigami+associates has been awarded the golden lion for best project at the 12th international architecture biennale in venice, italy. ‘architecture as air: study for château la coste’ explores a new form of transparency that goes beyond the density and opacity of a building’s structural components. by blurring the limiting boundaries between space and structure, the project essentially aims to illustrate architecture as air, which transcends the concepts of lightness and weight. measuring approximately 14m in depth, 4m across and 4m high, the installation is a physical model of a building planned for somewhere in europe. by building it at full-scale, it should enable the viewers to perceive the otherwise invisible void, an element that is, much like air, smaller than anything of an everyday scale.
junya ishigami wins golden lion for best project at the venice biennale
collapsed structure
image © designboom

 

 

constructed out of spindly carbon fiber pillars, the installation first collapses hours after the opening of the press preview on august 26, 2018. through numerous trials and errors, ishigami’s team worked on rebuilding the structure while simultaneouslyrefining the original idea, resulting in just the pillars for the final presentation. nevertheless, the international jury appreciated ishigami’s ‘unique and uncompromising vision, which pushes the limits of materiality, visibility, tectonics, thinness, and ultimately of architecture itself.’

junya ishigami wins golden lion for best project at the venice biennale
damaged exhibition
image © designboom

junya ishigami wins golden lion for best project at the venice biennale
problems continued on the second day
image © designboom

junya ishigami wins golden lion for best project at the venice biennale
during the first three days, small groups of workers were trying to figure out how to reconnect the piece.
in the foreground, the semi-circle cardboard templates were used to glue the carbon fibers into shape
image © designboom

junya ishigami wins golden lion for best project at the venice biennale
installation view before the opening of the exhibition
image courtesy contessanally

 

 

the château la coste winery is the site of a new arts center in the south of france, commissioned by irish property developer paddy mckillen and masterplanned by japanese architect tadao ando. currently under construction, the project is located in aix-en-provence and includes structures designed by leading architects, among them jean nouvel, frank gehry, norman foster and renzo piano.

 

update:
our friends at ARTit have just published a nice interview with junya ishigami.they met with ishigami at his office in tokyo while he was preparing for v enice, and discussed with him the role of exhibitions in his experimental practice and the idea of architecture after ideology.