Founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Tokyo-based SANAA is one of the world’s most admired architectural practices. One of just a few joint winners to be awarded the Pritzker Prize (in 2010), Sejima and Nishizawa met when the latter came to work at Kazuyo Sejima and Associates following his graduation in 1990. “The buildings by Sejima and Nishizawa seem deceptively simple,” said the Pritzker jury of the firm. “The architects hold a vision of a building as a seamless whole, where the physical presence retreats and forms a sensuous background for people, objects, activities, and landscapes. They explore like few others the phenomenal properties of continuous space, lightness, transparency, and materiality to create a subtle synthesis.”
Among the firm’s buildings, very often in white, are the flowing Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the 21st-Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. The duo, who maintain their separate practices, have also designed their fair share of residences including Nishizawa’s Moriyama House, comprising 12 white boxes with gardens in between.