HIROSHI SAMBUICHI

The Daylight Award for Architecture 2018

The Daylight Award for Architecture 2018

Architect and Founder of Sambuichi Architects

Hiroshi Sambuichi is a master at balancing the relationship between nature and architecture. The movement of earth, wind, air, water, and sun are integral parts in his buildings including the Shizuki Castle House and Naoshima Hall in Japan. As such, his buildings exist in harmony with their surroundings.

His approach allows daylight to always be present in its variable life. It is not objectifying light as a singular event, but rather opening our awareness and experience of light to be timeless, fluid and rich.

“To me, architecture is ideal when you look at its form and the moving materials around the site, such as when the wind, water and the sun become visible. A close examination of changing wind directions and intensities in daylight influences the site and enables me to understand what kind of architecture is really needed on each location.”

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“A close examination on how changing wind directions and intensities in daylight influences the site, enables me to understand what kind of architecture is really needed on each location”.

Hiroshi Sambuichi graduated from the Department of Architecture and Engineering at the Tokyo University of Science. After practice at Shinichi Ogawa & Architects, he founded Sambuichi Architects in 1997. Sambuichi has been working as adjunct professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art and as lecturer at Yamaguchi University. His work has amongst others received some of the most prestigious architectural awards in Japan, including the 2011 Architectural Institute of Japan Prize for the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum.

Jury reasoning

Sambuichi’s approach to a site is one of great particularity, entailing long term study and reflection upon the qualities and forces of nature which are embedded within, and active upon, the site. In pursuit of the balance, before developing the design, Sambuichi investigates the landscape’s seasonal climate and experiments with physical models on site over one to two years. The architecture thus emerges through these considerations. His works are rooted in the local environment and are manifestations of the skilful use of the moving powers of nature.

We may look at Shizuki Castle House and Naoshima Hall as examples of this creative process. These works reference the sky plane above and the earth plane below, defining a field of life, our life – a suspended world that intertwines the individual with nature. Specifically, the active forces of nature – the movement of the sun, the cooling flow of breezes – combine with the variable ability to enclose, protect and surround. It is an architecture that evolves to opening, revealing and exposing – all actions which relate to the individual experience responding to nature’s life. The work displays extraordinary simplicity and clarity with a discreet refinement, a remarkable intimacy of figure and nature.

His philosophical base and built work serve as a continuous inspiration to the architectural discourse.

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