The Japanese House at the Barbican

21 April 2017

On 21st April a group of Avantians went to check out The Japanese House at the Barbican, an exhibition on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of World War II to now.  It was an amazing exhibition to see, highly recommended, through two floors you explore the influences of Japanese design and experience modern layouts.

On the first floor you are shown the end of World war one, through pencil drawings, filmography and photos. One exhibit was a series of middle class women and men holding dramatic poses such as a damsel in distress aiming to depict the home drama after WWII.  You then swooped round various influences of mass housing project ideals, prototypes models of modern dwellings and fashion influences.  The main exhibition focus was on Moriyama House by Ryue Nishizawa and Teahouse and Garden by Terunobu Fujimori.

The lower floor contained a sample at 1:1 scale of the Moriyama House, to echo the ideals of minimalistic living in a communal space. It was interesting to see how they combined this with the brutalist architecture of the Barbican; the contrast of the gallery slicing into the modern dwelling was poetic.

The Moriyama House is a series of different scaled white voids that play on transparency and blurred boundaries. Connecting directly to the environment it encourages communication between communal spaces external, internal, and domestic washing facilities. Before the installation, you are able to watch a video of the actual users in Tokyo, Ota that conveys the communal use.

Teahouse and Garden
The Teahouse and Garden was a reinterpretation of a traditional teahouse designed by Terunobu Fujimori reinterprets the traditional tea house and garden. It incorporated larch, oak, chestnut, plaster and ceramic for the house and planted moss mounds that look like green Pokémon Digletts for the seated garden.


Visit the Barbican website here for more information


Bespoke Residences, CELEBRATING DESIGN, Explore, Home_feed, London – UK, NOW, Residential, Specialist Housing,

by Rosie Scott

Moriyama House

‘Life can’t be contained within a single lot. People’s sense of living expands beyond it, effectively erasing all borders.’
Ryue Nishizawa