The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 The Barbican

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945

On Wednesday I went to the private view of The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 at the Barbican. This compelling and immersive exhibition is the first to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to the present day.

Featuring the work of over 40 architects, ranging from the renowned and internationally celebrated to more obscure architects little known outside of Japan, the exhibition celebrates some of the most ground-breaking architectural projects of the last 70 years.

At the heart of the exhibition, and taking over much of the lower gallery, is a full-size recreation of the monumental Moriyama House (2005) designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA. Walking through the fully furnished rooms, with many personal artifacts from Nishizawa himself, you get a real and strangely intimate sense of what it must be like to inhabit this remarkable house.

The other half of the lower gallery features an eccentric Japanese teahouse made from charred wood, specially commissioned for the exhibition from acclaimed Japanese architect, Terunobu Fujimori. This is a thoughtful and accomplished exhibition that explores the very unique sensibilities of Japanese domestic architecture.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945. Until 25 June