The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945, Barbican art gallery

I love a good exhibition at the Barbican. The brutalist gallery space with its unusual yet logical layout has played host to a run of excellent, sometimes outlandish shows over the years – the sex one and the Viktor and Rolf one with all of the creepy dollies spring to mind as being particularly memorable.

The current exhibition, a Japanese-themed extravaganza focusing on architecture and Life after 1945, was just as good as its predecessors and is likely to be remembered as the one with the Japanese house in the middle of it.

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Said house was a fully furnished 1:1 scale replica of the Moriyama House by Pritzker-prize winning architect Ryue Nishizawa from 2005. The house consisted of ten white-coloured individual units, strikingly intertwined with the brutalist architecture of the Barbican gallery space. Where the gallery obstructed the architecture of the house, the structure was sliced open to expose the domestic interior in section.

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Most of the house was fully accessible: you could amble in and out of the units and garden and the lighting of the gallery was adjusted every hour to quite convincingly mimic dawn to dusk.

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As well as the house, there were loads of interesting images, smaller scale models and videos of equally striking postwar Japanese architecture and design on display. The exhibition is on until 25 June 2017 and is well worth a visit.

 

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