junya.ishigami+associates: Architecture as Air: Study for Chateau la Coste

The installation that collected the Golden Lion award - and then it was gone

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Winner of the Golden Lion for the best project of the exhibition, Japanese architect Junya Ishigami’s installation was barely visible: it comprised a box made of the thinnest possible white structure and a drawing of that structure on the wall.

Intended as a full-scale study for a building described in the wall text as ‘somewhere in Europe’, the installation proposes a radical rethinking of the possibility of architectural transparency, leaving behind the modernist trope of glass walls in search of a building so light and delicate that it almost doesn’t exist.

And in fact, the structure collapsed just hours after the press preview opened and these images were taken, leaving the project poised somewhere between existing and not existing: not so much a finished presentation as a quest for something nearly impossible. The structural drawing on the walls, which are reminiscent of a Sol LeWitt wall drawing, also contribute to the notion that this project is, at this point, a set of instructions that are lovely to consider but impossible to follow. However, the idea Ishigami is proposing feels so seductive and so new that one can only hope he will prove that notion wrong as he continues to work on the building.

More of junya.ishigami+associates’ work is featured in Phaidon’s 10x10_3 and &fork.


By Sara Goldsmith
Project Editor, Architecture & Design, Phaidon



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