Architectures trans-pacifiques

The travels of Japanese architects to America: a research proposal for Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto.

“On peut supposer que cet intérêt est une réaction à la forte densité urbaine et à la transformation anthropique du paysage rural propre au développement moderne du Japon : les forêts du Costa-Rica pour Atelier Bow Wow ou les déserts en altitude des Andes chiliennes pour Kazuyo Sejima et Sou Fujimoto constituent une contrepartie fascinante à la relation sophistiquée à la nature propre à la culture japonaise, ou finalement la nature est absente ou abstraite, en ouvrant des échelles totalement différentes.”


The development of contemporary architectural culture in Japan has been influenced by the travels of architects, not only to Europe or Asia (as analyzed by Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist in their extended research on the Metabolists, Project Japan) but also through the Americas. Following a recent surge of interest for the topic of the travel as a crucial tool for learning and exchange, the research proposal for the Villa Kujoyama residency program in Kyoto aims to investigate the role that American travels have played in the international affirmation of contemporary Japanese architecture.

Download the proposal in French, here.

Image: from Kazuo Shinohara, series “Streets with human shadows”, installation view from exhibition at CCA, Kitakyushu, 2006.