1974 Born in Kanagawa, Japan
2000 M.F.A. in Architecture, Tokyo University of the Arts
2000 Joined Kazuyo Sejima & Associates
2004 Established junya.ishigami+associates
2009-11 Visiting Professor, Tokyo University of Science
2010-12 Visiting Professor, Tohoku University
2014 Visiting Professor, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
2015 Visiting Professor, Princeton University School of Architecture
2016 Visiting Professor, University of Swiss Italian The Mendrisio Academy of Architecture
2017 Visiting Professor, Oslo School of Architecture
2017 Visiting Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture

Awards and prizes

2005 SD Prize, SD Review 2005
2005 Kirin Prize, Kirin Art Project 2005
2008 Iakov Chernikhov Prize
2008 Kanagawa Cultural Award
2009 contractworld.award
2009 Bauwelt Prize
2009 Architectural Institute of Japan Prize
2009 BCS Prize
2010 Golden Lion award for best project, 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia
2010 Mainichi Design Awards
2012 Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award
2016 BSI Swiss Architectural Award
2019 The Minister of Education,Culture,Sports,Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize for New Artists
2019 OBEL AWARD by the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation


Art Biotop Water Garden

The project is located in a meadow near the site of a new hotel in the natural setting of Nasu in Tochigi. Before, the meadow site was a paddy field; a forest overgrows with moss, like the present-day surroundings. Traces of the site’s history, such as a sluice gate to draw water in remained. The site of the new hotel was once a forest where many trees would have to be cut down in order to make way for the building. Since the total area of the forest and the meadow were nearly the same, the project relocates the entire forest to the adjacent meadow. This act transforms the meadow, not only by moving the forest but also by superimposing all layers from the history of the site’s former environment the landscapes of the paddy field and the mossy forest are overlapped as one. Landscapes that were originally here, but never met, mix and mingle with each other. Trees from the adjacent forest are rearranged on the site and water is drawn in from the existing sluice gate to fill countless ponds, which are all connected to the existing irrigation system with water flowing continuously at different rates. The ponds and trees are spread across the entire site at a density that is never found in nature. Moss laid out beautifully to fill the spaces in between. Without adding or discarding anything that was here, a hitherto unseen new nature appears on the site.

Planning landscapes as if planning architecture. Extending the scale of architecture and increasing the accuracy and specificity of the landscape are realised simultaneously. By planning specific shapes of trees and ponds, the vague scenery of the forest is given framework, and considered as a space with as much detail as possible. By moving trees to the adjacent site and rearranging them, the pieces of the puzzle are intentionally shifted. Autonomy of each tree is born. Luminous spaces appear between 318 unique tree shapes, at the same time 160 ponds are designed among these trees. Trees that are moved and rearranged are all deciduous trees such as beech, quercus, and canine. These tree species cannot coexist with water in close proximity in the existing natural environment. By applying waterproofing in the ponds, this coexistence and a new relationship which never existed are created. How can human beings intervene in the natural environment? Will the new nature created by them change our living environment? By planning nature in a detailed way, natural environment and human environment mingle, intertwine and merge more closely.

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