About the Exhibition
TOTO GALLERY·MA is pleased to present the solo exhibition Is It Truly Necessary? by Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo, a young architect duo who are creating highly unique work in Japan.

After making a start to their career by designing a solitary fence for a house, the two captured the attention of the architecture community with their highly praised Boundary Window, which is one of their most well-known early projects, and Living Pool, which won them the 32nd Yoshioka Prize. Through their work, they have demonstrated an ability to present bold solutions by focusing on specific parts of a site that can make the greatest impact on a place, such as the boundaries, windows, structure, and foundations. Their approach entails making careful observations and a thorough diagnosis of the daily activities planned for a site and the existing context, pinpointing the elements that can contribute most to shaping a place, and formulating a plan for what needs to be designed. This methodology reflects their pure attitude towards design, which drives them to purge their work of arbitrariness and approach things objectively. By being developed through this process, their architectural works that establish a bold presence even while melding into their surroundings are able to challenge our preconceptions and bring fresh wonder to familiar everyday landscapes.

In this exhibition, Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo will present site models and mockups to illustrate the design process behind their early and recent work, including Initiative Roof, House with City, Bind Barn, and Mark the Land. We invite you to come see the fruits of their continued explorations and learn about how they are able to identify and realize the truly essential things that need to be designed for the contexts of their projects.

image from the Exhibit
©Nacása & Partners Inc.
©Nacása & Partners Inc.
©Nacása & Partners Inc.
©Nacása & Partners Inc.
©Nacása & Partners Inc.
©Nacása & Partners Inc.
Images for Media Use
Initiative Roof (2016,Tokyo)
©Anna Nagai
Bind Barn (2018,Kanagawa)
©Anna Nagai
Living Pool (2014,Yamagata)
©Anna Nagai
Boundary Window (2014,Chiba)
©Anna Nagai
Exhibition Information
Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo: Is It Truly Necessary?
Thursday, January 16 – Sunday, March 22, 2020
Mondays and public holidays (except February 23)
TOTO Nogizaka Bldg. 3F, 1-24-3 Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
TEL=+81-(0)3-3402-1010 URL=
1-min. walk from Nogizaka Sta. (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line) Exit 3
6-min. walk from Roppongi Sta. (Toei Subway Oedo Line) Exit 8
7-min. walk from Roppongi Sta. (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line) Exit 4a
7-min. walk from Aoyama-itchome Sta. (Tokyo Metro Ginza/Hanzomon Lines or Toei Subway Oedo Line) Exit 4
TOTO GALLERY·MA Planning and Management Committee
Special Advisor: Tadao Ando
Members: Kazuyo Sejima, Manabu Chiba, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Erwin Viray
Tokyo Society of Architects & Building Engineers; Tokyo Association of Architectural Firms; Japan Institute of Architects Kanto-Koshinetsu Chapter; Architectural Institute of Japan Kanto Chapter
Related Books
Author: Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo
Photographer: Anna Nagai