Tim Brown Architecture

SANAA

Added on by Timothy Brown.

I'm traveling this week so am a little tardy in commenting on this year's Pritzker Prize. For anyone living in a cave or under a rock (or simply lost in the mountains of western North Carolina) Kazuyo Sejima, and Ryue Nishizawa won it.

SANAA has been on my radar since their subtle but sophisticated competition entry for the MTCC competition at IIT. I'd seen a few of their projects before their work for us at IIT but hadn't managed to get my head around the work - the pachinko parlors were my favorites by far. But their design for the student center struck me as the best of the bunch in that it was extraordinarily quiet and presented a type of emptiness that seemed perfect for the forefront activity of a building capturing streams of activity throughout the day. Materials and close ordering all fit neatly into a re-working of some of Mies' strongest ideas.

Having recently been to NYC where I saw the New Museum, then in Tokyo to see the Dior project on Omotesando, I'm doubly impressed by their handling of surface. I will be joining others, no doubt, in making a tardy visit to Toledo (we've been talking about driving over for a year or so anyway). I regret not seeing the Ishigawa museum while in Japan - also missed the Ito project in Sendai...

I particularly enjoy thinking about the slight adjustments and reconfigurations of the field provoked by a Zumthor-SANAA Pritzker sequence.