SANAA, Architects, Tokyo Design Studio, Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa, Buildings, Photos

SANAA Architects, Japan

Contemporary Japanese Architecture Practice

SANAA Architecture Studio News

Japanese Architect Office led by architects Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa, Tokyo

SANAA, architects : Win 2010 Pritzker Prize architects. 29 Mar 2010

SANAA Architects – Selected Major Projects by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa

O-Museum, Nagano, Japan
The Ogasawara Museum was one of their first projects together, begun in 1995 and completed in 1999. Built on an isolated plateau on the side of a mountain, the site is an important heritage site where a castle from the 14th and 15th centuries once stood. The building’s shape follows the contours of the land, and is raised off the ground to keep the remains of the castle in sight, and also minimizes problems with rising damp from the ground. The entrance is from a square and ramp to a large lobby with a large window that frames the castle remains. Exhibition rooms and service area are in line with the lobby.

Stadstheater Almere “De Kunstlinie”, Almere, The Netherlands
De Kunstlinie design by SANAA Architects
photo © Adrian Welch
In 1998, SANAA was chosen to design a municipal theater and cultural center that would serve both professional and amateur artists. The site is in a town located on a lake just west of Amsterdam. The project is one of many under a master plan developed by OMA. Completed in 2007.
Almere Building Photos

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan
Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa
photo © 2008 Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Located in an historic city on the north coast of the Japan, this circular building completely within a glass envelope can be viewed from all angles. There are central exhibition spaces of different proportions surrounded by areas for municipal services such as a library, a workshop for children and a conference room. There is space around the perimeter inside the glass to walk completely around the building. There are four inner courtyards enclosed by glass, and many of the rooms have skylights to provide diffused natural light where needed. This project began in 1999 and was completed in 2004.

Christian Dior Building, Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan
Completed in 2003, the Christian Dior store on Omotesando Avenue in Tokyo called for four retail floors and one multifunctional level. The building could have a maximum height of almost 100 feet so it was decide to achieve the maximum volume and then divide the horizontal spaces of variable heights into retail floors alternated with spaces used for utilities, and all enclosed in glass. Translucent acrylic screens behind the glass can soften the building. At night, the building glows like a jewel in the urban landscape that surrounds it.

The Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, Toledo, Ohio, USA
Museum of Art Toledo design by SANAA Architects
picture © 2008 Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Begun in 2001 and completed in 2006, this addition to the Toledo Museum of Art was designed to house the museum’s collection of art glass, as well as a laboratory and glass-making foundry for the production of material. The plan, laid out on a single level, is based on a grid of interlocking glass rectangles linking one room to another. The walls of the rooms are of curved glass allowing views to adjacent and/or exterior spaces in various degrees of transparency or translucency. There are interior courtyards as well.

Zollverein School of Management and Design, Essen, Germany
Zollverein School of Management  design by SANAA Architects
photo © 2008 Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
This project, begun in 2003 and completed in 2006, is located on the site of an old coal mine, near a carbon factory in a suburban area. Designed as a cube, approximately 115 feet to a side, it is a contrast to the large industrial buildings as well as the smaller scale residences around it. Divided into four floors of varying heights, windows of varying dimensions provide natural light and views of the surrounding areas. The first floor is a common study area completely open with no partitions.
Zollverein School of Management and Design

New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, New York, USA
New York Museum of Contemporary Art  design by SANAA Architects
photograph from SANAA, 2007
In the heart of lower Manhattan, this high rise exhibition space increases the amount of wall space and keeps the building within local planning limits by staggering the different levels which makes possible skylights and terraces where the floors overlap. Begun in 2003, the building opened in 2007.
New Museum of Contemporary Art New York

Rolex Learning Center, EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérales de Lausanne), Lausanne, Switzerland
Rolex Learning Center  design by SANAA Architects
This project, begun in 2005, is designed to house a library, a center for the study of languages, offices, a cafeteria, restaurant and lobby. The roof and floor have a slightly undulating form. The main entrance can be approached from four sides by walking under the undulating floor slab. There are seven courtyards of varying sizes and shapes. These along with the variations in the space heights and sizes help create different atmospheres for different functions. This project was completed in 2009.
Rolex Learning Center

Naoshima Ferry Terminal, Naoshima, Kagawa, Japan
Begun in 2003 and completed in 2006, this building is a ferry terminal on a small island in the Inland Sea of Japan. A large (approximately 39,000 square feet) roof covers most of the site, and encompasses several glass enclosed areas that function as visitors center, cafe, event hall, and waiting area, as well as space for parking and bus stops and is described as an entrance hall of the island to accommodate the people together.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009, London, England, UK
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion SANAA
image © Nick Weall
Serpentine Pavilion + Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

Derek Lam Boutique, New York City, USA
Derek Lam New York Store
photograph from DLM
Derek Lam New York Store

Camp Nou Stadium Redevelopment – Competition entry, Barcelona, Spain
Camp Nou Stadium
image from SANAA, 2007
Camp Nou Stadium Competition : Spanish Architecture Contest

More SANAA projects online soon

SANAA Architects Practice Information

SANAA : Kazuyo Sejima (right) and Ryue Nishizawa (left)
Sejima Nishizawa
picture © 2008 Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Photograph © Takashi Okamoto

SANAA – Summary

Kazuyo Sejima
1956 in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Master’s in Architecture in 1981
Japan Women’s University

Ryue Nishizawa
1966 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Master’s in Architecture in 1990
Yokohama National University

SANAA – Brief Chronology

Sejima joined Toyo Ito & Associates
Sejima forms Kazuyo Sejima & Associates
Nishizawa joins firm
Sejima and Nishizawa form SANAA
Nishizawa forms Office of Ryue Nishizawa
Sejima becomes Professor at Keio University, Tokyo
Nishizawa becomes Associate Professor at Yokoham National University

Images of Buildings by SANAA Architects welcome : info(at)

SANAA – Chronology of Major Works

Okayama, Japan
Multimedia Workshop
Ogaki, Gifu, Japan

Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Nakahechi, Wakayama, Japan

Park Cafe
Koga, Ibaraki, Japan

Iida, Nagano, Japan

Day Care Center
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
La Biennale di Venezia, 7th International Architecture Exhibition
“City of Girls” Japanese Pavilion, Venice, Italy
Prada Beauty (Prototype)
Isetan, Tokyo, Japan

Prada Beauty
Lee Garden, Hong Kong
Garden Cafe
Seventh International Biennale
Istanbul, Turkey

Christian Dior Building
Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan
Issey Miyake by Naoki Takizawa Store
Tokyo, Japan

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

Zollverein School of Management and Design
Essen, Germany
Glass Pavilion, Toledo Museum of Art
Toledo, Ohio
Naoshima Ferry Terminal
Naoshima, Kagawa, Japan
Novartis Campus
Basel, Switzerland

New Museum of Contemporary Art
New York, New York
DeKunstlinie Theatre and Cultural Center
Almere, Netherlands

Derek Lam, shop interior
New York, New York
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion
London, England
Rolex Learning Center, EPFL
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Current Projects by SANAA Architects

Extension of the Instiute d’Art Modern
Valencia, Spain

House for China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture
Nanjing, China

Louvre Lens
Lens, France

Vitra Factory Building
Weil am Rhein, Germany

Social Housing Paris District XVI
Paris, France

Multifunctional Building of the Serralves Foundation
Porto, Portugal

Hyundai Card Factory
Seoul, Korea

Awards for SANAA

The Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Erich Schelling Architecture Prize
Karlsruhe, Germany

Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture
American Academy of Arts and Letters
New York, New York
Architecture Award of Salzburg
Vincenzo Scamozzi
Salzburg, Austria

Golden Lion for the Most Remarkable Work
in the Exhibition “Metamorph”
Venice Biennale
Ninth International Architecture Exhibition
Venice, Italy

46th Mainichi Newspaper Arts Award (Architecture Category)
Tokyo, Japan
The Rolf Schock Prize in the Visual Arts Category

The Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Mario Pani Award
Mexico City, Mexico
The Berlin Art Prize (Kunstpreis)
Berlin, Germany

Selected Exhibitions by SANAA

Architecural Association School of Architecture, London, England

GA Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Aedes Gallery in Berlin, Germany
NAI in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Zumtobel Staff-Lichtforum in Vienna, Austria
Ministerio de Fomento, Madrid, Spain

American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, New York, USA

Gallery Ma in Tokyo, Japan and N-Museum in Wakayama, Japan

21st Century of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan
Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza, Italy
Technicum Chur, Switzerland

MUSAC in Leon, Spain
deSingel, International Arts Center in Antwerp, Belgium
arc-en-reve centre d’architecture in Bordeaus, France

Location: Tokyo, Japan, Asia

SANAA Architects Bibliography

SANAA Architects

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa 1995-1999
monographic issue of Japan Architect #35, Fall 1999

SANAA Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa 2004-2008
monographic issue El Croquis, #139

SANAA Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa Recent Projects
Aedes, Berlin 2000

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa SANAA
Yuko Hasegawa, 2005 Electa, Milan

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa
Zollverein School of Management and Design
A+U #413, Tokyo, Japan

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa
2005 A.D.A. Edita, Tokyo, Japan

Houses: SANAA Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa
Musac – SANAA – Actar, Spain

Shift – SANAA and the New Museum
Lars Muller Publishers

Japanese Architects

Japanese Buildings

Architecture Studios

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