A visitor had seen the Laneway House project by architect Brigitte Shim in Toronto, a single-family residence sitting in the rear portion of a lot, in a city serviced by an extensive network of laneways. He connected this project to Ryue Nishizawa’s House and Garden on the topic of intimacy: “Will the envelope of the building be glass paned? Will there be elements that veil the spaces, such as drapery or semi-translucent glass, or how about a double membrane?”
In the Moriyama House gallery, a little girl was wide-eyed. While half-listening to explanations of the exhibition, she was envisioning the vast array of possibilities for hiding places inside and outside the house, even within the urban sprawl of Tokyo.
Two women from Montréal discussed the important concerns of urban space explored in both the work of Stephen Taylor and Ryue Nishizawa. They broached issues of comfort, cost, and notions of the individual within the collective. We were immersed in various discussions throughout the entire visit.
A young researcher from Paris was keenly drawn to the architectural resolutions presented in the galleries. He wondered whether certain projects shown in the exhibition were contributing to the gentrification of neighbourhoods such as London’s East End. After mentioning the theme of the preceding CCA exhibition on the oil crisis of 1973, he was reminded of his experience of living in East Pasadena, Los Angeles. His impressions described an aggressive configuration of urban space lacking in public transport. Regarding projects of both architects in the galleries, he recalled how hard it is to live in East Pasadena without a car. This consequently robs the city of its social architecture, as people prefer gathering in their homes to socialize with friends.