Japanese architect Junya Ishigami was awarded the coveted Gold Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 for his installation Architecture as Air. The work is barely visible to the eye yet the delicate forms were captured on video by Vernissage TV.

Acclaimed Japanese architect Junya Ishigami blurs the boundaries of art and architecture with a barely visible experimental installation ‘Architecture as Air’ – first shown at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2010, where it was awarded the coveted Gold Lion for best project. The fact the installation collapsed merely hours after the press preview has not prevented a reprise of the project, with ‘Architecture as Air’ opening next week in London at the Barbican.

The work he describes as ‘melting endlessly into space’ Рis a structure comprised of a single curved line of delicate 4 meter columns will run the entire length of the gallery, appearing to be held in place by air and atmosphere alone. Only on close inspection are the transparent structural components revealed.

WATCH – Video of the installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale HERE

HEAR – Junya Ishigami in conversation discussing his work – June 28 / click HERE to book to join in the web cast.

Or visit Architecture as Air at the Barbican Centre, London from June 28 – October 16, 2011, Barbican

Architecture as Air – Venice Biennale project description as reported on Design Boom:

‘Architecture as Air: study for Château La Coste’ explores a new form of transparency that goes beyond the density and opacity of a building’s structural components. By blurring the limiting boundaries between space and structure, the project essentially aims to illustrate architecture as air, which transcends the concepts of lightness and weight.

Measuring approximately 14m in depth, 4m across and 4m high, the installation is a physical model of a building planned for somewhere in europe. By building it at full-scale, it should enable the viewers to perceive the otherwise invisible void, an element that is, much like air, smaller than anything of an everyday scale.

Constructed out of spindly carbon fiber pillars, the installation first collapsed hours after the opening of the press preview on the 26th of august. Through numerous trials and errors, Ishigami’s team worked on rebuilding the structure while simultaneously refining the original idea, resulting in just the pillars for the final presentation. Nevertheless, the international jury appreciated ishigami’s ‘unique and uncompromising vision, which pushes the limits of materiality, visibility, tectonics, thinness, and ultimately of architecture itself.’