Quite Japanese – Yet So Finnish: Kaija + Heikki Siren

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The exhibition examines Kaija and Heikki Siren’s long-term relationship with Japan, and features their wooden architecture in both Finland and Japan. 

The Finnish architect couple Kaija Siren (née Tuominen, 1920–2001) and Heikki Siren (1918–2013) designed and realised several projects for Japan, a country much admired by numerous Finnish architects. The extensive collection of articles on the Sirens’ architecture published in August 1965 in Kindai Kenchiku, a Japanese magazine specialised in modern architecture, provided the initial impetus in furthering their relationship with Japan, leading to a warm understanding between the Sirens and the Japanese public. For the Sirens, Japanese architecture meant the same as the Sirens’ architecture meant for the Japanese: simple and beautiful architecture that takes its environment into account, and skillfully combines interior and exterior spaces. Over the next six decades, the Sirens’ work continued to be featured in Japanese architecture magazines.

The Sirens first design in Japan, the Karuizawa Golf Club’s restaurant, was completed in 1974 and second, the Onuma Golf Club, in 1976. Today, several holiday villages consisting of standard cottages designed by the Sirens can be found in Japan. The sites designed by the architect couple in Japan emphasize wooden log materials and a refined relationship between a building and its surrounding environment.

Curator’s talk
The curator of the exhibition Frans Autio will give a curator’s talk and tell more about the exhibition on Thursday March 17th at 6pm (in English, interpreted in Japanese) via Zoom.
Requires registration, more information here.

Quite Japanese – Yet So Finnish: Kaija + Heikki Siren

Hours: 11:00–18:00 (until 15:00 on the last day of the exhibition)
ars gallery, 5-13-1 Jingumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0001
Gallery closed on Mondays
Free entrance

Exhibition is produced by the Museum of Finnish Architecture and curated by Frans Autio.

Photo: Museum of Finnish Architecture