sou fujimoto on the japan pavilion at venice architecture biennale
sou fujimoto on the japan pavilion at venice architecture biennale sou fujimoto on the japan pavilion at venice architecture biennale
sep 18, 2012

sou fujimoto on the japan pavilion at venice architecture biennale

architect sou fujimoto portrait © designboom

designboom interviewed sou fujimoto, one of the participating architects of this year’s japan pavilion at the 2012 venice architecture biennale –  he gave us an exclusive tour of the projects on show and discussed the important themes of the exhibition.

‘I was invited by mr. ito to contribute to this project following several months post-quake during which I had not the slightest clue what I could do, or what approach to take, as an architect or as an individual. I was profoundly struck by the fundamental question of ‘whether architecture was still necessary, whether there was anything architecture could do, whether architecture was even possible’, and the idea that a new architecture could only emerge beyond those questions. I was gripped by a powerful desire to be present at the moment architecture is re-generated, alongside the fundamentals of human endeavor, and to see it through.

initially the project was plagued by difficulties. our strong focus on the search for this new architecture drove us round and round in circles. but once we arrived on site, speaking to the people we met there about the realities of their everyday lies, and actually having physically experienced the sit for ourselves, I began to sense the emergence of an architecture that would inevitably arise in this place, among these people; the product of snippets of conversation, scenes that lasted just a fleeting instant but stayed in memory: accumulating in orderly fashion.

this architecture nearing completion does not seem to belong to any particular period or style. yet it reaches out towards something universal. can that be because the myriad of memories once held by this community, the bonds between people that are starting to take form here, the vitality of people going about their day to day lives; the countless experiences and memories and hopes that words cannot express possessed by people who have overcome a major disaster, have taken shape as a building via a method that could only occur here. it is something that did not exist anywhere before, and yet perhaps existed in the memories of everyone here. thus, architecture emerges once again, from the people.’ – sou fujimoto

sou fujimoto talks to designboom about the japan pavilion at the 2012 venice architecture biennale video © designboom

  see PART 1 of designboom’s coverage of the japan pavilion

architects kumiko inui, akihisa hirata and sou fujimoto image © designboom

installation view of the japan pavilion image © designboom

‘the angles of the layered roofs, caves and so on are rotated in relation to each other, lending a sense of multi-directionality to the space. as a result, the pillars emerge as individual elements in the internal space, creating a less rigid space.’ – akihisa hirata, may 24, 2012 image © designboom

‘responding to (kumiko) inui-san’s stance of starting with a peaked roof, we are layering roofs. it looks interesting with varioius nooks and crannies.’ – sou fujimoto, december 19, 2011 image © designboom

image © designboom

‘rather than proposing a house, I’m presenting a framework that changes and grows in accordance with people’s activities.’ – sou fujimoto, december 15, 2011 image © designboom

‘one of the first three models created. taking a hint from the pine tress washed away by the tsunami, I consider creating a structure out of felled trees. I envision differentiating the space using not designed elements but the very ‘noise’ inherent in nature.‘ – akihisa hirata, december 14, 2011 image © designboom

image © designboom

kumiko inui, akihisa hirata, japan pavilion commissioner toyo ito, sou fujimoto portrait © designboom

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