Biography

With a penchant for glass, aluminium, metal mesh and sculptural surfaces, Kazuyo Sejima has an architectural style defined by the soft division of space and clean lines.

Sejima began her career in the office of architect Toyo Ito, where she worked for six years. She opened her own studio, Kazuyo Sejima & Associates, in Tokyo (1987) before co-founding, with Ryue Nishizawa, the architecture studio SANAA (1995). Her individual designs for innovative buildings in Japan and around the world include House in Plum Grove, Tokyo (2003), and the Inujima Art House Project, Okayama (2010, 2013), while SANAA’s prominent projects include the Rolex Learning Center, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland (2009); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2007); Zollverein School of Management and Design, Essen, Germany (2006); Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, Toledo, US (2006); and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2004).

Sejima was appointed director of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale (2010). She is currently a professor at the Polytechnic University of Milan and Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture (Y-GSA), and she is also a visiting professor at Japan Women’s University, Tokyo, and Osaka University of Arts.


Among her many awards are the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2010); Rolf Schock Prize (2005); Golden Lion, 9th Venice Architecture Biennale (2004); Schelling Architecture Award (2000); Young Architect of the Year, Japan Institute of Architects (1992); and Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2010).

Sejima received a master’s degree in architecture from Japan Women's University, Tokyo (1981). Born in 1956 in Ibaraki, Japan, she lives and works in Tokyo.

SAF participation:
Sharjapan 3 – Remain Calm: Tranquility, Solitude and Connectivity in Japanese Architecture (2020)

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