2011 5.13-2011 7.9

“The Construction of a State”

When I started working in architectural design, I felt as if I were in the pitch blackness of outer space, without a single planet in sight. Although I had studied architecture for two years at a vocational school and received practical training in the field over a five-year period at a regular firm, I had never seriously confronted things like architectural thought and theory. It was as if there were no “fixed points” that might serve as stars to help me decide where and whether or not to proceed into the dark universe. It was in this mindset that I began working as an architect.

Though it might seem obvious, an architectural structure is attached to a piece of land. And in designing a structure, one must treat all of the “states” that exist there in an equal manner. I have created architecture using this basic approach for the last ten years. One might say that my work involves searching for “fixed points.” As the site of my work is Hokkiado, I have repeatedly “constructed states” based on necessity using “fixed points” that emerge from a “state” that is a compulsory or inevitable response, or “fixed points” that emerge from devising my own approach in tandem with the use of a regular method. According to these experiences and repeated activities, I sometimes alter my way of thinking.

Using a chronological approach in this exhibition, I hope that the viewer will be able to get a better sense of the discovery, realization, repetition, and variation of these “fixed points.” And although I don’t think my fundamental method will change much in the years ahead, I hope that the viewer might also imagine the gradual changes that might occur in the future.

Jun Igarashi

We are proud to present an exhibition of work by Jun Igarashi, an architect based in Saroma, Hokkaido who primarily specializes in residential design.

While satisfying the prerequisite of coexisting with the particular natural and climatic features, and the landscape of Hokkaido, Igarashi’s work encourages us to reexamine the universal value of architecture. Transcending individual works, this is something that has inspired Igarashi’s architectural thought from the outset while prompting his continual search for a “state” or “primordial place of comfort for human beings.”

Houses, or shelters designed to protect the human body from the bitter cold of winter in Hokkaido, require some means of dealing with the forbidding natural environment, which is defined by strong wind, heavy snowfall, and frozen soil. By making use of procedures such as the calculation of windbreak, frost line, and snow load, which are necessary to technically and legally clear these natural variables, as elements to enrich a living space, Igarashi produces amazingly diverse and comfortable interiors while maintaining the quality of safety necessary to shut out the exterior environment. At the same time, by controlling the flow of air, amount of sunlight, and line of sight, he creates a unique spatial experience that surpasses the actual scale of the structure and appeals to each of the viewer’s five senses. Take, for example, Igarashi’s debut work, Rectangular Forest (Tokoro-gun, Hokkaido, 2000), with a loose sense of zoning created by the arrangement of columns in a grid pattern; Wind Circle (Kitami, Hokkaido, 2003), and Rectangle Under Truss (Tokoro-gun, Hokkaido, 2004), with their three-dimensional spatial configurations created by carving out a room in accordance with the frost line; and Rectangle of Light (Sapporo, Hokkaido, 2007) and Layered House (Tokoro-gun, Hokkaido, 2008), with their unique sense of distance created by layers of light. In these works, spaces are linked in a loose relationship that gives rise to a free and diverse “comfortable place.”

Coinciding with his 15th anniversary as an independent architect, “Jun Igarashi: The Construction of a State,” Igarashi’s first solo exhibition, showcases 18 of his most important works from Rectangular Forest to Small Atelier via a group of 1/10 scale wooden models. As the viewer peers into the models, displayed at eye level, they can experience what it is really like to be in each place and see how the “state” of each work is structured. In the courtyard, there is also a reproduction of an abstract theatre space called Temporary Playhouse for Osaka Contemporary Theatre Festival (Osaka, 2005) that is made out of arced PVC pipes. This exhibition offers the viewer an opportunity to trace the path that leads from the beginning of Jun Igarashi’s career to the present, and to observe the gradual deepening of the architect’s thought.

With special assistance from

Butsurin Co., Ltd.
Marujirushi Hasegawa Co., Ltd.
Hokkaido Hoxan Co., Ltd.
Osaka Contemporary Performing arts Association (NPO)
Daisuke Hasegawa and Partners
Daiko Electric Co., Ltd.
Sincol Co., Ltd.

Jun Igarashi  The Construction of a State


Closed on Sun., Mon. and National Holidays

Admission FREE

Rectangular Forest
(Tokoro-gun, Hokkaido, 2000)

Wind Circle
(Kitami, Hokkaido, 2003)
©Daici Ano

Tea House
(Tokoro-gun, Hokkaido, 2006)
©Naoki Honjo

Rectangle of Light
(Sapporo, Hokkaido, 2007)
©Seiya Miyamoto

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