Endo Shuhei: Paramodern Architecture 25/25
Exhibition, Toto Gallery, London
“A wall becomes a strip, a band that blends into the landscape, the roof is a single disc suspended above a building….” Frédéric Migayrou, Professor of Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Endo Shuhei: Paramodern Architecture 25/25 is the renowned Japanese architect’s first solo exhibition in the UK, showcasing 25 models from a selection of Endo’s work, as well as marking and celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of his studio,the Endo Shuhei Architect Institute.
The architectural models crystalise Endo’s ideas, each one functioning like a Zen riddle, poised to become something more, or something else, once the riddle is solved. Economical yet beautiful, these models are imbued with restless energy and deeper layers of meaning.
Those already familiar with Endo’s work will know that he has preferences for certain types of material, such as industrial corrugated steel, which would be deftly bent, rolled and folded, corroborating the bold style that his buildings have come to be known for. All his projects also have the suffix ‘–tecture,’ as in Bubbletecture, Halftecture, Rooftecture, etc., and such a systematic and consistent approach mirrors the rigour Endo employs for designing buildings.
The singular, determined focus that Endo has retained over the years is something that the Japanese architectural historian Hiroyuki Suzukihas noted before. Nevertheless, the way Endo twists and rolls the ’skin’ of his buildings allows for a structure that is never fully enclosed.
Interestingly, despite the shared quality of openness, which is indeed also found in traditional architecture in Japan, Endo’s buildings have not much in common otherwise with the lightness of Toyo Ito’s workor the delicateness of SANAA’s work. Having lived through the GreatHanshin Earthquake of 1997, Endo is aware that modern buildings in Japan must be robust and serve to protect people from natural disasters rather than become further cause for casualties. This calls forcareful planning. Ascetic appearance of his work is derived from his belief that social responsibility is implicit in architecture.
Endo’s work is compelling and deserves wider recognition outside Japan.
Please note that a separate talk event, entitled ‘Architect for a New Era,’ will be taking place at the Building Centre on Store Street on 25th June from 6:30PM.
Together with Frédéric Migayrou, Professor of Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL (Migaryou is also the Deputy Director of the National Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris),Endo will discuss his core ideas and reflect on the interrogative relationship concerning ideas of modernism, questioning the potential balance between architecture and the environment.
The talk is supported by Japan Foundation UK.
Endo will be in London and available for interviews for a week beginning Monday 22nd June.
Shuhei Endo would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the following individuals, as well as students from Kingston University - Will Himpe and Madoka Ellis - who have assisted in the realization of this exhibition in London:
⎯ Yuki Sumner
⎯ Akira Kindo
⎯ Akira Yamanaka
⎯ Alice Ceresole
The Exhibition is supported by Architectural Design Association of Nippon and Finsa, one of the largest MDF and chipboard manufacturers in Europe, and is part of London Festival of Architecture. It is a touring exhibition and has previously been shown in Milan, Stuttgart and Paris.
Opening time: 24th June - 14th July
Open: 9am - 5 pm (closed weekends)
Private View: 23rd June 6pm - 8:30pm
About Shuhei Endo
Shuhei Endo established his Osaka-based studio, the Endo Shuhei Architect Institute, in 1990. His work ranges from small residential projects, cultural centres and educational buildings to large-scalesport stadia, transport and infrastructure. Endo is recipient of numerous prestigious national as well as international awards,including Japan Institute of Architecture Award (2012), Japan Public Architecture Award (2012), and the International Architecture Exhibition Special Award, 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture (2004). Endo is also Professor of Architecture at Kobe University, leading the Architectural and Environmental Design Laboratory. Endo has numerous publications under his name, not able examples of which include Endo Shuhei: Paramodern Architecture, published by Electa in 2012, and 25/25, published by Equal Books in 2015.
About Toto Gallery
Established in Kitakyushu, Japan in 1917, TOTO has been developing, producing and marketing its comprehensive high-end bathroom concept for the European market since 2009, with an emphasison combining convenience and eco-friendly Clean Technology. The TOTO Concept Showroom in Clerkenwell, London, showcases a full range of TOTO products and the Gallery on the lower ground floor serves as a creative and flexible space for designers and architects to host exhibitions, events and installations.