Till the 10th of June, you can enjoy Junya Ishigami’s exhibition at Fondation Cartier in Paris

Freeing Architecture, from March 30th till June 10th at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, is not only the institution’s very first large exhibition about architecture, but also the most complete and exhaustive show dedicated so far to the work of 44-years-old Junya Ishigami.
It is not a retrospective, though. Rather, it’s a still-frame on the ongoing works of the former enfant prodige of Japanese architecture, whose talent was acknowledged worldwide thanks to his outstanding project for the Kanagawa Institute for Technology Workshop (2004-2008), and consecrated in 2010, when he was awarded with a Golden Lion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia.

Hardly any architecture photographs are displayed at Fondation Cartier. The innumerable study models realized or restored specifically for the occasion are the actual core of the exhibition: built at different scales – from Lilliputian reproductions of landscape projects to one-to-one size architectural samples – and made of a stunning variety of materials – including paper, tinfoil, concrete, real stones and water ­– they obliterate the image of the finite project and, instead, they invite visitors to focus on the context and the process that underlay its implementation.

Almost 25 years after its completion, Jean Nouvel’s design for the foundation proves to be ageing really well, or rather to not be ageing at all. Unlike other buildings by the same architect, after the first-sight shock it has been able to soberly merge with its surroundings – its lush garden and the city. An ability to ‘disappear’ that it shares with Ishigami’s best projects.