Yasuhiro YamashitaxAtelier Tekuto  Tomorrow: The Challenge of Architecture
2012 10.13-2012 12.22
The First Solo Exhibition and Comprehensive Overview of Architect Yasuhiro Yamashita’s 20-Year Career and Constantly Challenging Work

Tomorrow: The Challenge of Architecture
by Yasuhiro Yamashita

When I was a child, I had lots of different dreams. And I embarked on many kinds of adventures to make these dreams come true. In one, a friend and I made our way deep into the mountains behind my house in search of some delicious fruit. In another, I became a fisherman and armed with a homemade harpoon, I made my way into the sea to spear fish. In my young mind, the world had a completely flat structure and everything was possible. So every day was an adventure designed to realize my dreams and, along with a sense of anxiety and danger, I was filled with excitement at the prospect of arriving at some unknown location.

What a joy to spend every day chasing adventure. For example, if there was a certain thing I wanted, I would do a thorough search and ask people about it, and then if I found that it didn’t exist, I’d dream about becoming the next Edison and agonize over how I might create it. To others, it probably seemed like a waste of time and effort, but to me it was tremendously interesting. And the ability to become deeply engaged is the true value of a dream.

I’m over 50 now. But unlike most adults I haven’t stopped embarking on my adventures. In the process, I’ve discovered the thrill of things like searching for materials. Materials are more than simple ingredients – they are significant because they contain the essence of things and the origin of actions. As the materials I deal with contain as yet unseen potentials, these small things serve as a driving force for fundamental change in the world. This is clear from the great transformations that occurred in the 20th century through the development of concrete, steel, and glass. Things that seem to be impossible contain an element of intrigue and a “seed” of change. Searching for something of this kind is the real adventure.

Following the massive earthquake that occurred in 2011, we discovered that there are many unreliable aspects of our society, and we also realized that there is a need to revise architecture, which was still based on 20th century-style industry and economics. In the future, architecture should celebrate the people who live in it and the local natural environment. Enabling people to continue embarking on their adventures in this way will give rise to a new and different tomorrow.

Yasuhiro Yamashita

This event, the first solo exhibition to feature the continually challenging work of Yasuhiro Yamashita (b. 1960), provides an overview of the noted architect’s 20-year career. As seen in works such as Earth Bricks (2011), the first structure in contemporary Japan to be made with earthen blocks, Yamashita not only conceives of new “things” that lie outside of the scope of conventional wisdom, he affects “actions” by becoming directly involved with his clients, contractors, universities, and building-material makers. A man of uncommon talent, Yamashita is also blessed with the ability to realize “things.”

In this exhibition, we present a 1:1-scale model of Church of Soil, designed by Yamashita as the next phase in his application of earthen blocks. The cross-shaped openings in the exterior wall, measuring 4.9 meters at its highest point, will allow visitors to experience a mystical space engulfed in countless crosses of light. In addition, the event will provide a comprehensive survey of Yamashita’s career based on two perspectives: “Seven Adventures with Things” and “Seven Adventures with Actions.”


Supported by Tokyo Society of Architects and Building Engineers, Tokyo Association of Architectural Firms, The Japan Institute of Architects Kanto-Koshinetsu Chapter, and Kanto Chapter, Architectural Institute of Japan

In cooperation with Daiichi Kougei, Home Builder, Jun Sato Structural Engineers, Kikushima Construction, Marutomi Construction, Ninomiya Construction, Nippon Electric Glass, Ogawa Kyoritsu Construction, Uchida Construction, and Waibi.

Jun Itami  Vestigial Impressions
Date: Sat., Oct. 13–Sat., Dec. 22, 2012
Hours: 11:00–18:00 (–19:00 on Fri.)
Closed on Sun., Mon., national holidays, but open from Nov. 3 to 5
Admission: Free

Church of Soil
(project; exterior)
©Atelier Tekuto

Church of Soil
(project; interior)
©Atelier Tekuto

Earth Bricks
(Chiba, Chiba Prefecture, 2011; exterior)
©Sobajima Toshihiro

Earth Bricks
(Chiba, Chiba Prefecture, 2011; interior)

©Sobajima Toshihiro

(Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture, 2012)
©Sobajima Toshihiro

Mobile Smile
(Tohoku area, 2011)
©Atelier Tekuto
Back to Top