Freeing by Architecture

architect Junya Ischigami
written by Ana Bedenko

Loosening the rigid framework of defining and perceiving media as well as achieving flexibility of architectural concepts with the goal of generating new typologies and programmes, which are always based on spatial reality, is one of Junya Ishigami's main goals. His architectural-exhibition piece is displayed in the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, at the Parisian Boulevard Raspail. At first glance, the ethereal quality of Jean Nouvel's building creates the impression of almost not being a tangible, permanent structure. The translucent glass front emerges from the greenery and subtly, but assertively, sets up the grid, which is almost indistinguishable from the surrounding flora. One might for a moment believe that he has wandered off to the nearby Jardin des Plantes, whose greenhouses hold vegetation which Ishigami would surely consider as an example of non-constructed, self-built architecture. The installation Extreme Nature with which Ishigami presented Japan at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, seems to follow in the lines of the Parisian exhibition, but whereas here the exhibition space was moved from a pavilion into the exterior – moreover, the exterior itself became an exhibit-space – at the exhibition in the Fundation Cartier the opposite happened, drawing the house from the inside into its essence.
Architecture thus becomes a mise-en-scène and vice versa. This mutual intertwining blurs the physical and ideal lines of spatial barriers. By literally dissolving the boundaries between the natural and built environment, Ishigami is examining and tracing the limits of the real world. 

The translucent walls and the Fondation’s garden reflect Ishigami’s signature with delicate botanical motifs and almost transparent strokes of invisible grey.
The coexistence of the natural and the anthropogenic world embodies the Japanese spirit.