SANAA Houses: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa Agustin Perez Rubio (Compiler)
          Review by Mario Cipresso

        • This publication is actually a catalogue produced as a companion to an exhibition that took place at the Castilla & Leon Museum of Contemporary Art in Spain in 2007. The exhibition and this volume feature both the individual work of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa and a selection of projects they completed collaboratively as SANAA.

          Finished and unfinished works are both closely examined and as the title suggests, it's strictly residential. One third of the projects presented are multi-family works that generally take an interesting look at the unconventional arrangement and articulation of individual units creating opportunities for idiosyncratic courtyard or open spaces, specifically in the Okurayama Apartments. The single-family projects can be considered thoughtfully in their integration and siting within the urban environment. What sometimes appears to be a precarious relationship to the site unfolds through closer examination of the photos into a broader understanding of the urban context.

          The book begins with a gently probing interview between the editor and Sejima and Nishizawa and ends with a collection of essays that weave together the contemporary work of SANAA with a traditional notion of Japanese architecture among other topics. Each project has a paragraph of text with some vital statistics that is presented independent of the projects at the beginning of each major section.

          Although the drawings are clear and concise, the books suffers from a somewhat surprising number of washed out and low resolution images that whether intentional or not, seems to compromise the overall execution of the catalogue. The work is experimental and intriguing but there are likely other publications available that present the projects more thoroughly.


        03.28.08 Since I have seen them for the very first time in "el croquis" I felt in love with those architects but as the author writes my feelings regarding "el croqie" edition was similar - not enough images. / Lukasz
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