SANAA: Construction and Structure with works of Walter Niedermayr



I dream of architecture that can contribute to contemporary society. Architecture is the way people meet in space.” [Kazuyo Sejima]


The School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering of Politecnico di Milano opens the renovated exhibition space by displaying some of the most significant projects designed by  Kazuyo Sejima, founder with Ryūe Nishizawa of studio SANAA  in 1995, Pritzker Prize in 2010, and Professor at Politecnico di Milano since 2015.

The exhibition “SANAA: Construction and structure (with works of Walter Niedermayr)” presents a selection of the projects of the office, among which Bocconi University New Urban Campus (2019), EPFL Rolex Learning Center (2010), Japan Women’s University Library (2019), Tsuruoka Cultural Center (2018), Toledo Glass Museum (2006). The seemingly ephemeral and immaterial spaces designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryūe Nishizawa are here narrated in their process of realization and construction through models, projections, and the work of Walter Niedermayr, an Italian artist/photographer who has been maintaining a dialogue and an artistic collaboration with the Japanese studio for over two decades.

bio Kazuyo Sejima
Born in Ibaraki Japan, Kazuyo Sejima received a degree in architecture from the Japan Women’s University in 1981. In 1987 she opened her own studio in Tokyo and then in 1995, together with Ryue Nishizawa, she founded SANAA. Her own works include House in Plum Grove, Inujima Art House project, and Japan Women’s University Mejiro Campus. SANAA’s main works include the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, the Rolex Learning Center (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne), Louvre-Lens, Grace Farms, and La Samaritaine. In 2010 Kazuyo Sejima was appointed director of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice Biennale. Her honors include the Japan Architecture Award, Venice Biennale Golden Lion Award, Rolf Schock Prize in Category of Visual Arts, Pritzker Architecture Prize, Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters, Prix de l’Équerre d’Argent, the Medal with Purple Ribbon, and Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture, The Praemium Imperiale awards in honor of Prince Takamatsu. She is currently a professor at Politecnico di Milano, and teaching at Japan Women’s University and Osaka University of Arts as a visiting professor.

bio Walter Niedermayr
Since 1985 he has been working on projects in which space is investigated as a reality occupied and shaped by people. 
The perception and atmosphere of open or closed space constantly recur in his photographic and video works. Alpine landscapes and urban structures, architecture and industry, prisons, hospitals and the breathing patterns associated with them constitute the themes and locations of his ongoing explorations. e This is evident in the groups of works Alpine Landschaften (since 1987), Raumfolgen (since 1991), Rohbauten (since 1997), Artefakte (since 1992) and Bildraum (since 2001). Between 2005 and 2008, the Iran Group was born, and between 2009 and 2016, it was the turn of The Aspen Series. In 2012, he started another sequence of images set in the Alpine landscape, the Portraits, and a new thematic strand focusing on ruins and abandoned structures, the so-called Relikte. Niedermayr completed the Koexistenzen project in 2017 after seven years of work. Between 2011 and 2014, Niedermayr was a lecturer in artistic photography at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano.

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