Constrained Architecture : How Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa interpret “Form vs Function”

Daytime Shot of 21st Centry Museum of Contemporary Art

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is located on the West coast of Japan in a small city called Kanazawa. This city was originally famous for its well-preserved historical tea district, where you can still see Geisha occasionally walking, and Kenroku-en one of the most famous Japanese Gardens.

The museum was designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, both were awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2010. I thought I would be impressed but intimidated by Architecture like this. On the contrary, I felt embraced and welcomed by the simple design.

Glass Pavilion For The Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio

The museum is designed not only as an Art Exhibit Center but also a Community Hub for the neighborhood. The two architects have used the simplest form as the main concept — circular form with an internal square module — without any pretentiousness or ostentatious use of material. Using glass instead of cement as the material for the outer perimeter, it not only brings in the light but also breaks down the division between spaces and closes the distance between people. With no defined entrance, visitors feel welcome in all directions.

I have always liked the simplicity of Japanese Design — And how underneath, the idea is never actually as simple as it looks. Every shape, material, color, placement is used for a reason, and all brought somehow together into cohesion with each other as if they were never designed, but rather came together that way naturally.

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