On the Thresholds of Space-Making
Sam Fox School, Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, Missouri
Through April 20
The work of Shinohara Kazuo (1925–2006), one of Japan’s most influential architects of the postwar generation, is surveyed in On the Thresholds of Space-Making. Shinohara gained popularity as an architect with his series of sublime purist houses designed over a thirty-year period that went through the 1980s. Shinohara scrutinized and reframed fundamental architectural conventions, such as public/private, body/space, and openness/enclosure.
This exhibition contains original drawings and sketches that have rarely been seen outside of Japan. These drawings are enhanced by photographs of finished works and scaled models of imagined architecture. A featured work is Shinohara’s House in White (1964–66), in which he rearranges a familiar design palette—a square plan, a pointed roof, white walls, and a symbolic pillar—to give the main room almost oceanic spaciousness.
His work has a poetic quality that combines simplicity and surprise. Also showcased in the exhibition is the enduring legacy of Shinohara’s work through projects by younger Japanese architects whom he influenced, including Toyo Ito (b. 1941); Ryue Nishizawa (b. 1966) of the firm SANAA; and Jun’ya Ishigami (b. 1974).