Kazunari Sakamoto

Kazunari Sakamoto (born 1943) studied under Kazuo Shinohara at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and later taught as Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology for nearly 30 years. Kazunari Sakamoto has been working and developing his architecture in both theory and practice throughout his entire career. His practical and theoretical work holds a unique position within contemporary architecture in Japan and has a strong influence on many architects, including both young and old generations.


The lecture

In December 2013 while we were teaching assistants of the visiting professor Go Hasegawa at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, we had the great opportunity to invite Kazunari Sakamoto to hold a lecture. For the occasion he prepared a very meticulous lecture in which he presented his work over the last 40 years, from the beginning of his career until today. He mainly focused on how architecture can be opened and explained the evolution of his thinking, showing his constant search for the contemporary space in architecture. The lecture impressed us a lot and considering the importance of what it was bearing, we decided to publish it as a book in order to share its contents with a wider audience.

Extract from the lecture:

«The space I have been seeking for is free, diverse and flexible. In order to achieve such an ordinary space, I have been operating with the aspect of composition in my buildings. My lecture today is mainly about this operation, which deals with the typological composition appearing on various levels in architecture. The result of this operation leads to a space, which liberates the fixed and formalised world.»

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The book project

Despite his relevance in Japan, Kazunari Sakamoto is barely known in Europe where only a very limited number of publications about his work are available. We would like to comprehensively present his thinking and his architecture, as we believe that his work is strongly related to our current situation in Europe. His buildings and writings have a strong relationship and in this sense, the format of the lecture with images and words allows him to present both practice and theory simultaneously. This book will be the first publication outside of Japan to present his theoretical and built work as a unity and will be the characteristic of this volume.

About the book

Our intention is to bring the lecture directly to paper as Kazunari Sakamoto presented it. The book will feature 25 projects and over 120 images and plans. We are preparing all images and plans in collaboration with the Kazunari Sakamoto office in order to present the best graphic and photographic material. The original lecture has been translated from Japanese to German and English and the book will appear in two editions, German-Japanese and English-Japanese. The book will have a soft cover, a format of 17x24cm and around 170 pages. Moreover, it will contain a short introduction written by us and an afterword by the Japanese architect Go Hasegawa, whereas Kazunari Sakamoto will be the author and we will be the editor of the publication. It will be published by the renowned Quart Publisher in Lucerne and we are working hard to present you the book by this summer.

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Support us!

It has been one year since we started to translate and develop the publication, discussing with Kazunari Sakamoto and other people who contributed to this project in different ways. In January we also went to Tokyo to meet Kazunari Sakamoto and to visit many of his buildings. Our intention is not to seek help to pay the innumerable hours we spent on this project – as we are doing it enthusiastically during our spare time – but to make the project feasible. We need your support to cover the actual cost of the publication and to be able to share the lecture with other people like you.

Expenses – help us to realise the project

The actual costs are CHF 25’000 and include copy-editing, proofreading, image rights, printing, production and distribution. As is usual, the publisher cannot cover the whole cost and we have been searching for support from sponsors and institutions. Since the book is neither completely Swiss nor Japanese, we obtained little funding from sponsors and institutions, as they are mostly interested in supporting a specific region. We need your help to collect the last CHF 4’000 and through this campaign you can support the project by buying the book in advance for a reduced price of a 20% discount to the bookshops later. You will hold the book in your hands before it will be officially on sale. We prepared different rewards according to the amount you contribute and any form of support is highly appreciated.

Thank you!











本書(ソフトカバー / 17x24cm / 約170ページ)は25作品と120以上の図版とイメージを含み、英語・日本語版と独語・日本語版の2種類として発売されます。また、私達のまえがきと長谷川豪氏のあとがきも含まれ、スイスの建築専門のQuart出版社から出版されます。