‘Japanese architectures in Paris 1867-2017’ at Pavillon de l’Arsenal

Through seventy emblematic projects, the exhibition “Japanese Architecture in Paris, 1867-2017” explores the history and present of the Grand Paris project through the prism of a dialogue between two cultures that began 150 years ago.

 

64, rue Pierre-Rebière, Paris. Atelier Bow Wow,  Brunnquell & André, architectes. Paris Habitat-Oph, work management 2006-2012©David Boureau

64, rue Pierre-Rebière, Paris. Atelier Bow Wow, Brunnquell & André, architectes. Paris Habitat-Oph, work management 2006-2012 © David Boureau

 

Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris has just inaugurated its latest exhibition on Japanese architecture, this time focusing on the influence and works of Japanese architects in the city of Paris. Featuring both built and unbuilt projects, the exhibition displays photographs, drawing, renderings and a comprehensive selection of models in order to draw the picture of 150 years of cultural exchange.

The exhibition’s opening was highlighted by the presence of many of the protagonist contemporary artists themselves, such as Shigeru Ban, Sou Fujimoto, Tadao Ando and Kazuyo Sejima. 


 

Practical Information

Japanese architectures in Paris 1867-2017
June 28 – September 24, 2017
Pavillon de l’Arsenal
21 Boulevard Morland, Paris
France

 


Japanese architects have written a unique but largely unknown story in Paris, rich in multiple encounters, exhibitions, installations, and highly emblematic projects and constructions.

This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue reveal for the first time a dialogue between two cultures that began at the close of the 19th century and today boasts a dozen of major constructions that are either in progress or have been recently delivered, including the Collection Pinault-Paris at the Bourse de Commerce, the Learning Center in Saclay, the Mille Arbres project, the bridging Aurore building on the Left Bank, the Seine Musicale in Boulogne-Billancourt, and the transformation of the Samaritaine department store.

 

Le pavillon Satsuma, Exposition universelle, Paris, 1867. Usaburo Shimizu, maître d’ouvrage et concepteur © Wikipedia

Le pavillon Satsuma, Exposition universelle, Paris, 1867. Usaburo Shimizu, comissioner © Wikipedia

Le pavillon du Japon, cours la Reine, Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs, Paris, 1925. Shichigoro Yamada, architecte.©Médiathèque du Patrimoine, dist. RMN-Grand Palais

Japanese Pavilion, Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs, Paris, 1925 by Shichigoro Yamada © Médiathèque du Patrimoine, dist. RMN-Grand Palais

Project by Junzo Sakakura for the Japanese Pavilion in the Paris International Exhibition of 1937. Photocollage, 1936 © Fonds Bossu. SIAF/Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine / Archives d'architecture du XXe siècle

Project by Junzo Sakakura for the Japanese Pavilion in the Paris International Exhibition of 1937. Photocollage, 1936 © Fonds Bossu. SIAF/Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine / Archives d’architecture du XXe siècle

 

The cultural exchange between Japan and France has existed since the Meiji era (1868-1912), initially in the form of temporary pavilions at the various world’s fairs. It intensified in 1928, when the architects Kunio Maekawa and Junzo Sakakura came to apprehend modernism in Le Corbusier’s atelier. The attraction was mutual, as testified to by the draw that Japanese culture held for French intellectuals such as Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault.

Welcomed by Paris’ Japanophile mayor, Jacques Chirac, the leading figures of modern Japanese architecture, Kisho Kurosawa, Kenzo Tange, and Tadao Ando, built their first works in Paris in the 1980s and 90s at the Grand Écran, La Défense, and the Unesco. These buildings opened the way for a new generation of Japanese architects at the end of the 20th century, including Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa, Shigeru Ban, and Kengo Kuma.

Their practice, already lauded with the most important recognitions and awards in the field, soon resulted in major projects across Paris.

 

Tour Pacific, 11, cours Valmy, 92800 Puteaux, Kisho Kurokawa avec Marc Mussche, architectes Sari, maître d’ouvrage, 1989-1992© Jean-Pierre Attal / AXIMAGE.FR

Tour Pacific, Kisho Kurokawa & Marc Mussche, architects Sari (works management) 1989-1992 © Jean-Pierre Attal / AXIMAGE.FR

Espace de méditation pour l’UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris, Tadao Ando, architecte, Unesco, maître d’ouvrage,1995© Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

Espace de méditation pour l’UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris, Tadao Ando, architecte, Unesco, maître d’ouvrage,1995© Tadao Ando Architect & AssociatesMeditation space for UNESCO,  Tadao Ando (architect) Unesco (comissioner) 1995 ©  Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

 

This exhibition assembles over fifty models, design sketches, archival documents, and films narrating through it also the history of urban development in the Île de France: the invention of modernity, the creation of La Défense, the demolition of Les Halles, the period of the Grands Travaux undertaken in consultation with international architects, new approaches to collective housing, experimental constructions in wood and composite materials, and the search for new urban and construction models.

Rereading Paris’ history through its Japanese architecture thus provides a new perspective on the periods of the city’s major transformation and on the main issues facing the city of tomorrow: fluidity, transparence, porousness, mixed usage, and the integration of nature.

The exhibition sets forth the notion of a shared heritage, theoretical and constructed, that tied Japanese and French architects such as Junzo Sakakura and Charlotte Perriand in the past, and today Sou Fujimoto and Manal Rachdi or Laisné-Roussel, Shinichi Kawakatsu and Benjamin Aubry, Atelier Bow-Wow and Brunnquell & André, NeM and Tadao Ando.

 

Transformation des Grands Magasins de la Samaritaine, 75001 Paris, Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/Sanaa, architecte de conception,Jean-François Lagneau, architecte du patrimoine, SRA Architectes, architecte d’opération,Grands Magasins de la Samaritaine, Maison Ernest Cognacq SA, maître d’ouvrage, 2010-2019 ©Sanaa Architectes/Cyrille Thomas

Transformation des Grands Magasins de la Samaritaine, 75001 Paris, Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/Sanaa, architecte de conception,Jean-François Lagneau, architecte du patrimoine, SRA Architectes, architecte d’opération,Grands Magasins de la Samaritaine, Maison Ernest Cognacq SA, maître d’ouvrage, 2010-2019 ©Sanaa Architectes/Cyrille Thomas

Gare de Saint-Denis Pleyel, Rue Pleyel, rue Francisque-Poulbot, 93200 Saint-Denis,Kengo Kuma, architecte,Société du Grand Paris, maître d’ouvrage,2014-2023© Kengo Kuma & Associates

Gare de Saint-Denis Pleyel, Rue Pleyel, rue Francisque-Poulbot, 93200 Saint-Denis,Kengo Kuma, architecte,Société du Grand Paris, maître d’ouvrage,2014-2023© Kengo Kuma & Associates

Mille arbres, 16-24 boulevard Pershing et avenue de  la Porte des Ternes, Paris 75017 Sou Fujimoto, Manal Rachdi, Oxo Architectes, architectes, Moz Paysage, Atelier Paul Arène, paysagistes ,  Compagnie de Phalsbourg, Ogic, maîtres d’ouvrage, 2016-2022©SFA+OXO+MORPH+ RENDER

Mille arbres, 16-24 boulevard Pershing et avenue de la Porte des Ternes, Paris 75017
Sou Fujimoto, Manal Rachdi, Oxo Architectes, architectes, Moz Paysage, Atelier Paul Arène, paysagistes , Compagnie de Phalsbourg, Ogic, maîtres d’ouvrage, 2016-2022©SFA+OXO+MORPH+ RENDER

Immeuble-pont « Aurore », ZAC Paris Rive Gauche (lot T5B), 75013 Paris,Kengo Kuma & Associates Architects et Marchi Architectes,Compagnie de Phalsbourg & Station F, maîtres d’ouvrage, Semapa, aménageur,2017-2023 © Kengo Kuma & Associates

Immeuble-pont « Aurore », ZAC Paris Rive Gauche (lot T5B), 75013 Paris,Kengo Kuma & Associates Architects et Marchi Architectes,Compagnie de Phalsbourg & Station F, maîtres d’ouvrage, Semapa, aménageur,2017-2023 © Kengo Kuma & Associates

 

Exhibition designed by the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, presented from June 28 to September 24, 2017, with support of the Japan Foundation.
Guest curator : Andreas Kofler, architect and urban planner // Graphic design : Pierre Vanni // Exhibition’s lighting made with support from Erco.


 

News source: Pavillon de l’Arsenal
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