Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa - SANAA : New generation of architects who designs the new Japan.
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa - SANAA
New generation of architects who designs the new Japan.
Akira Suzuki + Mariko Terada, April 30, 2007
Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa_Sanaa_Tokyo_Japan
Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa_Sanaa_Tokyo_Japan


Throughout the 20th century, Japan has produced the greatest of architects: from KazuoShinohara to Kisho Kurokawa, architect of “metabolism“ in the 1960s, from Kenzo Tange to Fumihiko Maki, from Hiroshi Hara to Arata Isozaki, and from Tadao Ando to Toyo Ito. Similarly,many great 20th century western architects, including Le Corbusier, have been fascinated by Japanese architecture.

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa are together part of SANAA, one of the world's most notable architectural firms, which is based in Tokyo. Their latest buildings, which include the 21st-Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa (Japan, 2004) and the Zollverein School of Management and Design in Essen (Germany, 2006), and their projects currently under construction, including the New Museum in New York (2007) and Louvre-Lens in Northern France (2009), confirm their status as leading twenty-first century architects.

Portrait: Kazuyo Sejima + SANAA


Kazuyo Sejima_Sanaa_Tokyo_Japan
Kazuyo Sejima_Sanaa_Tokyo_Japan


Kazuyo Sejima was born in 1956 in Mito, in the Ibaraki region. She studied at the Japan Women’s University, graduating in 1981 with a master’s degree. She worked first with Toyo Ito Architects & Associates (1981-1987), then went independent in 1987 and founded SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa And Associates) in 1995 with Ryue Nishizawa, which is still their baseof joint operations. Sejima teaches at Keio University and is also guest professor at the GSD at Harvard, and the ETH in Zurich. Her architectural career got off the ground with the houses Platform I, II (1988, 1990), but it was in 1991 that her spare, graphic architecture really earned acclaim with the large project Saishunkan Seiyaku Women’s Dormitory - a collective accommodation unit for young employees - which would earn Sejima her letters of nobility. In the latter half of the 1990’s, the architect landed several commissions for public buildings, one such being the apartment complex Gifu Kitagata Apartment (1998, 2000), though this did notmean that she turned her back on the task of designing small dwellings, thus showing a coherent pattern of conduct. In 1994, the success of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Artat Kanazawa, acclaimed in particular for its easy accessibility and the original incorporationof the buildings in the grounds, earned her international recognition. At the same time, she tirelessly pursued her experiments involving urban faŤades, as illustrated by her project for the large Christian Dior shop in Tokyo (2003). Her work is currently on view in a travelling exhibition in Europe - Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA - and her work is the subject of many publications. In 2005, Sejima and Nishizawa won the international competition for the Louvre Museum at Lens.

Ryue Nishizawa_Sanaa_Tokyo_Japan
Ryue Nishizawa_Sanaa_Tokyo_Japan
Portrait: Ryue Nishizawa + SANAA

Born in Tokyo in 1966, Ryue Nishizawa obtained his master’s degree at the National University of Yokohama in 1990. He first worked for Kazuyo Sejima & Associates before creating the SANAA office in 1995 with Kazuyo Sejima, and the Office of Ryue Nishizawa in 1997.His first work as an independent architect was produced in 1998. It was a holiday home(Weekendhouse) situated on an isolated site in the summer resort of Karuizawa. RyueNishizawa also designed the Moriyama House (2005), a complex project not only because of where it was located, in the heart of the capital, on a plot lined with apartment blocks, but also because of the terms and conditions stipulating the cohabitation of several families. His method, which was also put to the test in this project, strove to be painstaking and logical, as is illustrated by the specific treatment of the openings, and the attribution of a hierarchy to the outside spaces.In the SANAA office, Ryue Nishizawa is now devoting his time almost exclusively to international competitions as well as to the building of public edifices, like the recent 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa. He is currently teaching as an associate professor at the National University of Yokohama.

Sanaa_Dior store_Tokyo_Japan
Sanaa_Dior store_Tokyo_Japan


Sanaa_Dior Building_Tokyo_Japan
Sanaa_Dior Building_Tokyo_Japan


Sanaa_Gifu Kitagata apartments_Gifu_Ja_Japan
Sanaa_Gifu Kitagata apartments_Gifu_Ja_Japan


Sanaa_Civic center of Onisha_Japan
Sanaa_Civic center of Onisha_Japan


Sanaa_O Museum_Nagano_Japan
Sanaa_O Museum_Nagano_Japan


Sanaa_New Museum of contemporary art_New York_USA
Sanaa_New Museum of contemporary art_New York_USA


Sanaa_house in Kamamura_Kanagawa_Japan
Sanaa_house in Kamamura_Kanagawa_Japan


Sanaa_interior details_house in Kamamura_Kanagawa_Japan
Sanaa_interior details_house in Kamamura_Kanagawa_Japan


Sanaa_Kanazawa_Kanazawa_Museum of contemporary art of the XXI century_Ishikawa_Japan
Sanaa_Kanazawa_Kanazawa_Museum of contemporary art of the XXI century_Ishikawa_Japan


Sanaa_Kanazawa_Interior details of Museum of contemporary art of the XXI century_Ishikawa_Japan
Sanaa_Kanazawa_Interior details of Museum of contemporary art of the XXI century_Ishikawa_Japan


Sanaa_Kanazawa_Interior details of Museum of contemporary art of the XXI century_Ishikawa_Japan
Sanaa_Kanazawa_Interior details of Museum of contemporary art of the XXI century_Ishikawa_Japan


Sanaa_Glass Pavillon_Toldeo Museum of contemporary Art_Ohio_USA
Sanaa_Glass Pavillon_Toldeo Museum of contemporary Art_Ohio_USA


Sanaa_Glass Pavillon_Toldeo Museum of contemporary Art_Ohio_USA
Sanaa_Glass Pavillon_Toldeo Museum of contemporary Art_Ohio_USA


Sanaa_Glass Pavillon_Toldeo Museum of contemporary Art_Ohio_USA
Sanaa_Glass Pavillon_Toldeo Museum of contemporary Art_Ohio_USA


Sanaa_O Museum, interior details_Nagano_Japan
Sanaa_O Museum, interior details_Nagano_Japan


Sanaa_Weekendhouse_Gunma_Japon
Sanaa_Weekendhouse_Gunma_Japon


Sanaa_Weekendhouse, Interiorr_Gunma_Japon
Sanaa_Weekendhouse, Interiorr_Gunma_Japon


Sanaa_Womens dormitory Saishunkan_Kamamoto_Japan
Sanaa_Womens dormitory Saishunkan_Kamamoto_Japan


Sanaa_Zollverein School of Design_Essen_Germany
Sanaa_Zollverein School of Design_Essen_Germany


Sanaa_Chair 1_Tokyo_Japan
Sanaa_Chair 1_Tokyo_Japan


Sanaa_Chair 2_Tokyo_Japan
Sanaa_Chair 2_Tokyo_Japan


Sanaa_Competition sketches_Tokyo_Japan
Sanaa_Competition sketches_Tokyo_Japan


Sanaa_Competition sketches_Tokyo_Japan
Sanaa_Competition sketches_Tokyo_Japan


Kazuyo Sejima and  Ryue Nishizawa have been awarded 
many prizes such as the ‘Gold Lion’ at Venice Biennale (2004) 
and the ‘Arnold Brunner Memorial’ Medal of the 
American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002).
 Sanaa has many projects in progress all over the world.

http://sanaa.co.jp