The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945

23 March 2017 - 25 June 2017
Art Gallery
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary design. Featuring over 40 architects, ranging from renowned 20th century masters and internationally celebrated contemporary architects to exciting figures little known outside of Japan, the exhibition celebrates some of the most ground-breaking architectural projects of the last 70 years.

At the heart of the exhibition is an ambitious and unprecedented full-size recreation of the Moriyama House (2005) by Pritzker-prize winning architect Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA). Visitors can weave in and out of the fully furnished units and garden, experiencing the remarkable house of Mr Moriyama in an immediate and physical way. Filling the other half of the Barbican’s lower galleries will be an eccentric and lovingly crafted Japanese tea house, commissioned for the exhibition from acclaimed architect, and highly respected historian of Japanese architecture, Terunobu Fujimori.

Considering developments in residential architecture in the light of important shifts in the Japanese economy, urban landscape, and family structure, the exhibition features over 200 works including rarely seen architectural models and drawings, photography and films, in order to cast a new light on the role of the house in Japanese culture.

At certain times during the exhibition run, tea ceremonies are performed for exhibition ticket holders in the Art Gallery within the garden of the tea house designed by Fujimori. The ceremony is demonstrated by the Urasenke Foundation Tea Ceremony Masters, a 400 year old Japanese Tea Ceremony School.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is curated by Florence Ostende (Barbican Centre, London), in collaboration with Pippo Ciorra (MAXXI, National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome). The Chief Advisor is Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow-Wow/Tokyo Institute of Technology). The Academic Advisor is Hiroyasu Fujioka (Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology). The exhibition designer is Lucy Styles. The Fujimori tea-house is designed by Terunobu Fujimori in collaboration with architect Takeshi Hayatsu and built by students from Kingston University.

The exhibition is co-organised by the Japan Foundation and the Barbican Centre and co-produced by the Japan Foundation, the Barbican Centre, MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. The project was initially conceived in Tokyo by Kenjiro Hosaka (MOMAT) and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto.

Advanced booking is strongly advised

The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue is available to order now.



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Barbican Art Gallery in London presents major exhibitions by leading international figures in the heart of the City of London

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