SANAA Architects – Design Studio Japan

SANAA Architects, Japanese Design Studio, Buildings

A brief introduction to the major works by SANAA architects

Contemporary Japanese Architecture Studio

SANAA architects

SANAA Architects is an internationally-acclaimed architecture firm owned by Principles Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of Japan. The Architects studio has completed several high-profile projects, including The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, The Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, the Christian Dior building in Omotesando, Tokyo, the New Contemporary Art Museum building in Manhattan, and several other buildings which showcase the brilliant architectural designs and themes.

Buildings by SANAA

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art located in Kanazawa, one of the major historical centres, on the north coast of Japan, is a real architectural gem. Circular in form, this building by SANAA Architects has no front or back, thus allowing one to explore it from all directions. The design of this circular building is based on a chain of islands. Further, the variously proportioned rooms in the building, including community gathering spaces, a library, lecture hall, museum spaces, and children’s workshop, with curved glass in the exterior façade, and four fully glazed internal courtyards, make it a perfect example of contemporary architecture. One can enjoy ample daylight and panoramic views in and from the building.

The Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio is a mind-blowing glass artwork by architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. The SANAA Architects firm has designed the building primarily out of glass. Other than the walls of toilets, plumbing, roof drains, elevators, and diagonal bracing, all the walls in the exterior and interior part of the building are made of curved glass. Another unusual aspect of this building is that there is no wall dividing two spaces. The galleries have two walls of curving glass between them. There is a gap of 1m between the layers of glass.

The SANAA Architects gave special consideration to issues like day lighting, temperature control, noise, reflectivity, and fragility while constructing this unique glass museum.

The Christian Dior building in Omotesando by SANAA architects resembles a child’s tattoo. The building is gift-wrapped in a transparent skin to enable one to see the building underneath. Further, the architects have used clear glass on the outside and a layer of translucent acrylic on the inside. One can add designs and logos to the building to make it suit the changing seasons or for a special sale or discounts and offers.

Other famous works by the SANAA Architects include New Museum of Contemporary Art Extension, SoHo, New York, USA, Glass Pavilion, Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, USA, Camp Nou Stadium Redevelopment – Competition entry, Barcelona, Spain, and De Kunstlinie – Almere Theatre / Almere Arts Centre, The Netherlands.

Those of you who are interested to know more about the architectural designs of the SANAA Architects, or view the images of the famous buildings by the SANAA Architects, or want to get complete information about the contemporary architecture, modern houses, new houses, Barcelona architecture, London architecture, or New York architecture, you may visit


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Key Buildings featured:

The Shard, London
The Shard London
image from developer

Los Angeles Concert Hall, USA
American Concert Hall
photo © Andrew McRae

Burj Dubai Building, UAE
Burj Dubai Building
image from Edelman

WoZoCo housing, Amsterdam
photograph © Adrian Welch

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SANAA Architects – page