in 1995, kazuyo sejima joined forces with ryue nishizawa to establish SANAA. since then, the duo have completed acclaimed works across the world, both in collaboration and independently through their own firms. in 2010, sejima and nishizawa were chosen as laureates of the pritzker architecture prize, with nishizawa becoming the award’s youngest ever recipient.


this weekend, you’ll be able to drive through the streets of the japanese capital with ryue nishizawa as we exclusively premiere ‘tokyo ride’ — the latest movie from filmmakers ila bêka and louise lemoine. ahead of the film’s screening, which will be available to watch here from 6pm (CET) on friday december 11 until sunday december 13, we take a look at 10 of nishizawa’s landmark projects including some realized in collaboration with kazuyo sejima — who also appears in the film. see the list of selected schemes, and designboom’s 2005 interview with the duo, below.




moriyama house

ryue nishizawa projects
image courtesy of bêka & lemoine (also main image)



completed in 2005, ‘moriyama house’ comprises a series of different volumes that each accommodate a different requirement. the project was famously featured in another film by bêka & lemoine, MORIYAMA-SAN, which documents one week in the life of mr. moriyama — an art-, architecture-, and music-enlightened amateur who lives in the building.


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garden & house

ryue nishizawa projects
image © iwan baan



‘garden & house’ is a residence in tokyo that comprises a series of stacked concrete floor slabs bordered with transparent railings and curtains. the four-storey dwelling is enclosed with walls of household plants, resulting in outdoor areas that are filled with greenery. nishizawa also opted to use curtains on both the interior and exterior of the house to provide privacy and divide up the living space.


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hiroshi senju museum

ryue nishizawa projects
image © daici ano, hiroshi senju museum karuizawa



open since 2011, the ‘hiroshi senju museum’ is a single-storey cultural facility on a lush site in karuizawa, japan. a collaborative effort with internationally recognized japanese painter hiroshi senju, the museum seeks to harmoniously link the exhibited art with the surrounding landscape within a naturally illuminated space.


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fukita pavilion

ryue nishizawa projects
image © jacomejp



this destination for contemplation and relaxation is set amid the trees in a residential region of kagawa, japan. known as the ‘fukita pavilion’, the structure offers a place for local residents to pause from their day and feel an instant and intimate connection with the natural environment.


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roof and mushrooms pavilion

ryue nishizawa projects
image by daici ano



designed in collaboration with nendo, the ‘roof and mushrooms pavilion’ overlooks the campus of kyoto university of art and design. a single, undulating roof contours down a steep hill, moderately inclined to mirror the angle of the site. dipping beneath its far-reaching wooden dimensions, visitors realize that the overhead panel also translates into a wall at its base. 


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jining art museum

jining art museum china
image © paulo dos sousa



in 2019, the jining art museum opened in china’s shandong province. the building, which forms part of a larger masterplan, is situated next to a lake and is surrounded by trees and other vegetation. in order to integrate the museum into this context, the architects proposed a single-story building with a large organically-shaped roof. below, exhibition galleries are complemented by a library, offices, and other back-of-house facilities. the project also includes two separate structures: a café and a pergola.


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ochoquebradas house

ryue nishizawa ochoquebradas
image © cristóbal palma



for the ‘ochoquebradas house’, ryue nishizawa sought to design a building that would enter into a dialogue with the natural terrain. despite its 50 meter length (164 ft), the concrete roof canopy appears to float elegantly above the house, which has very few conventional walls. instead, the home’s interior is delineated by the undulations of the roof canopy. the entrance leads directly into the main living space, which extends in a linear manner towards the ocean. the project has been documented by photographer cristóbal palma.


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river building at grace farms, with SANAA
image © dean kaufman



designed with SANAA, grace farms opened in the US state of connecticut in october 2015. the structure extends beneath a long roof that follows the contours of the undulating site. referencing the way the structure appears to meander across the landscape, creating a series of sheltered outdoor spaces, the winding structure is referred to as the ‘river building’.


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the new museum, with SANAA

OMA new museum
image by dean kaufman



the new museum opened in 2007, and remains one of SANAA’s best known projects. the building is a seven-story, eight-level structure located on the bowery in new york city. as visitors approach on the bowery or from the west along prince street, they encounter the building as a dramatic stack of seven rectangular boxes. the museum is intended as a home for contemporary art and an incubator for new ideas, as well as an architectural contribution to the city’s urban landscape. in 2019, OMA revealed plans for the museum’s extension.



serpentine pavilion 2009, with SANAA

see 10 projects by ryue nishizawa ahead of 'tokyo ride' premiere on designboom
image © 2009 edmund sumner/VIEW



in 2009, SANAA was chosen to build the annual serpentine gallery pavilion in london. open and acceible to the public, the pavilion contains separate spaces for a café and an auditorium. ‘the pavilion is floating aluminum, drifting freely between the trees like smoke,’ explain the architects. ‘the reflective canopy undulates across the site, expanding the park and sky. its appearance changes according to the weather, allowing it to melt into the surroundings.’


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designboom’s archive interview from 2005



designboom spoke with kazuyo sejima and ryue nishizawa at their exhibition in the basilica palladiana, vicenza in october 2005. in the archive interview, the duo discuss their style and the evolution of their work over the first decade of their collaboration. in 2011, designboom also took a studio tour of ryue nishizawa’s office, which can be seen here.


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