Hiroshi Sambuichi: Architecture Begins with “Water, Air and Sun”

In my work as an architect, my idea is to bring out the beauty of a specific place. The sun, the water and the air at that specific place. Thus my architecture will make the place as beautiful as possible. What interests me most is to bring out the beauty of a place. That’s why I spend a long time exploring the moving materials of the specific place.

In this video from the Louisiana Channel, Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi explains his approach to design through observation and reverence for the natural conditions of an existing site, as seen in his recently completed installation, ‘The Water’, currently on display at the Cisterns Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In designing the “shrine-like” installation, Sambuichi reopened the ground above the cistern for the first time in 150 years, allowing the sun and water to meet in a tranquil embrace. Accessed via a 120-meter-long corridor, the experience is that of a journey through light and atmosphere that connects visitors to the specific qualities of the place. Several mirrors reflect light through the space, while a camera obscura projects an image of the Frederiksberg Palace onto the cistern walls as a reminder of the site’s wider context.

“The relation between islands, water, sun and plants is something very important for me. And because we have the sun and water here the Cisterns have an expression which is a perfect fit for me.”

Known as a top experimentalist of the relationship between architecture and nature, Hiroshi Sambuichi’s work draws from both personal and scientific investigations, a process that allows his buildings to maintain a balance between poeticism and science. Previous works by Sambuichi include the Rokko-Shidare Observatory, the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, and Naoshima Hall.

Video via Louisiana Channel. Learn more about the installation, here.