Bae Bien – U, “Pine tree series”
Japan is described as a country of wood and looks back on a long tradition on working with wood in architectural practice. Japanese expression “Plants and tress all have something to say” shows the cultural importance of the material itself. Originally Japanese architecture was strongly influenced by Chinese and Korean buildings, but made up its typical style through a fluent and dynamic change. Wood is used as basic material in almost every building – from shrines to temples to places at home. In the last years, building with wood became more relevant, for in times of increasing CO2-emissions, wood can help: in a natural way it absorbs CO2 and, therefore, is recommended by the Kyoto Protocol for the use in contemporary architecture.
As the Austrian – Japan Year is going to end soon, more enlightning Japanese influence on contemporary architecture will be found in Venice: In 2010 a Japanese female architect, Kazuyo Sejima, founder of stunning SANAA, has been appointed Director for the architecture sector at Venice Biennale and will curate the 12th Annual International Architecture Exhibition comin up in 2010. By the way, she is the first woman ever in this position. For the Venice Biennale she`s aiming for a constant dialog between visitors and participants. She wants to focus on buildings, their atmosphere and the way they`re perceived.
Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa founded SANAA studios in 1995. They could realize a wide range of international projects – just to name a few: New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, U.S. (2003), Christian Dior Building, Tokio, Japan (2003), Zollverein School, Essen, Germany (2003).