kazuyo sejima selected as first rolex architecture mentor kazuyo sejima selected as first rolex architecture mentor
sep 03, 2012

kazuyo sejima selected as first rolex architecture mentor

kazuyo sejima, the first architecture mentor in the rolex mentor and protégé arts initiative

kazuyo sejima of pritzker prize-winning SANAA has been appointed as the first architecture in the rolex mentor and protégé arts initiative. architecture is the seventh discipline being added to the programme which also includes dance, film, literature, music, theatre and visual arts. the announcement was made at the 13th international architecture exhibition in venice.

the initiative first started in 2002, seeking young creatives across the globe to work together with an artistic master in their field of interest to collaborate one-on-one in a year long mentorship programme. during its first cycle (2002-2003) two architects – mentor álvaro siza, and protégé sahel al-hivari – participated when architecture was still classified within the visual arts discipline.

sejima will select her protégé this fall who will join her in japan at various points during the year to work with her on ‘home for all’, an international project which she established with other japanese architects in response to the housing crisis that emerged following the devastation of the march 2011 tsunami. (learn more about ‘home for all’ on designboom here and here.)

‘I would like to pass on to the young architect what I gained from other architects throughout my career,‘ said sejima. ‘I imagine a very dynamic relationship between the protégé and myself. how we will work is not something that I can determine myself as it depends very much on the energy and enthusiasm the protégé will bring as well.’

rolex learning center for the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne in switzerland by SANAA image © hisao suzuki

in 2004, kazuyo sejima and her partner ryue nishizawa were awarded the golden lion at the 2004 venice architecture biennale for their 21st century museum of contemporary art in kanazawa, japan. in 2010 they were awarded the pritzker prize, architecture’s highest accolade, and in that same year, sejima was appointed the first female director of the architecture sector of the venice biennale (see designboom’s announcement here). among sejima’s major works is the ‘rolex learning center‘ for the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne (EPFL)’, an architectural landmark in switzerland for which rolex was the lead private funding partner.

interior of the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne image © hisao suzuki

‘we are delighted to announce kazuyo sejima as the new architecture mentor in venice, and to be able to support the 13th international architecture exhibition as the leading focus of international architectural debate and ideas. we are also delighted to be associated with álvaro siza – 2012 golden lion award winner for lifetime achievement – who was the first mentor in the visual arts for rolex.’ – rebecca irvin, head of philanthropy at rolex

  • I like the architecture style of Kazuyo Sejima,even though this looks as a slice of swiss cheese. Still yet I like it! Love the interior,the movement and accessibility for all.Put some greens,yellow and red in the oval spaces and it would be wonderful,red and yellow trees would be wow!
    Am I unconsciously hungry?!(I see architecture as slices of cheese,)or is it that inspiration comes from all,without discrimination.

    TATTOO-LY says:
  • Your theory makes sense @TATTOO-LY, this building looks like a square slice of processed cheese and since its in switzerland….this would make it swiss cheese.

    CaptainObvious says:
  • I love it, but I don\’t think it is really the concept of \”accessibility for all\”, I mean I wouldn\’t want to roll through this building with a wheelchair… (It would be hard to make it to the top of some steep slopes, and a bit too easy to go down some other ones). But still it\’s very conceptual, intemporal and well done (but… isn\’t it empty?).

    Stephane says:

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