Opening of “Kizuki-au 築き合う – Collaborative Constructions” on August 1 in Tokoname, Aichi

Local news, 18.08.2022

Some 70 guests gathered in Tokoname, in the context of Aichi Triennale, to discover the architectural project by ETH Zurich and the University of Tokyo, and assist to a stunning performance by dancer and choreographer Kenta Kojiri.

“Kizuki-au 築き合う – Collaborative Constructions”
“Kizuki-au 築き合う – Collaborative Constructions” ©Niwashoten Co., Ltd.

On the occasion of the Swiss National Day, on August 1st, the Ambassador of Switzerland Dr. Andreas Baum, along with project leaders Hannes Mayer from ETH Zurich, Professor Yusuke Obuchi from the University of Tokyo and other collaborators celebrated  the opening of “Kizuki-au 築き合う – Collaborative Constructions” under clear blue skies.

Around 70 people gathered on this beautiful day to discover ETH Zurich’s three-storey tall timber frame structure and the University of Tokyo’s climatic “noren.” Following speeches by the Ambassador of Switzerland to Japan, Dr. Andreas Baum, and the two project leaders Hannes Mayer and Yusuke Obuchi, Mr. Masahiro Indo from Shimizu and Ms. Michiko Ogawa from Panasonic Holdings Corporation also said a few words, expressing their appreciation and support for this forward-looking architectural project and the work that had gone into it.

The opening was brought to a close with a stunning performance by contemporary choreographer and dancer Kenta Kojiri (Prix de Lausanne laureate 1999), which was created especially for this occasion. The audience also had the opportunity to admire the structures under a different light once the sun had set thanks to the light, mist and sound effects of Montage Inc..

In addition to the opening, a talk event took place at the Swiss Residence on August 5th hosted by Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. David Braun. The event was attended by ETH Zurich alumni as well as industry and academic experts including the Vice President of the University of Tokyo, Professor Naoto Sekimura who oversaw the Strategic Partnership between the two universities which highlights the collaboration between Gramazio Kolher Research and T_ADS Obuchi Lab. 

The approximately 40 guests received presentations by Mr. Mayer and Prof. Obuchi,  and had many questions after the panel discussion with the two project leads moderated by Ms. Andrea Pompili, alumna of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) Mendrisio.  

An initiative of the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan, ETH Zurich and the University of Tokyo, “Kizuki-au 築き合う – Collaborative Constructions” is an architectural project in Tokoname city, part of the collaborative programs of Aichi Triennale 2022, Japan’s largest art event. It brings together the expertise and creativity of two top Swiss and Japanese institutions – ETH Zurich and the University of Tokyo – in the form of a diptych installation by Gramazio Kohler Research and T_ADS Obuchi Lab. 

The project by Gramazio Kohler Research from ETH Zurich presents a three-storey tall timber frame structure, which revisits carpentry for the age of robotics, making metal parts, nails, screws or fasteners obsolete. The gate-like structure by T_ADS Obuchi Lab from the University of Tokyo features a series of pottery chains through which mist dampens the surfaces of the pottery and cools down the air.

All this was possible thanks to our many partners – cultural institutions, academic institutions, local city and citizens, corporate sponsors, etc. – whom we thank wholeheartedly for their fantastic support and engagement. Our gratitude goes in particular to Mrs. Vroni Shiohara, Brand  Manager, BMW Group Japan, and Mr. Dex Victor Van Hunen, Head of Marketing & Communications, IWC Schaffhausen.

“Collaborative Constructions” constitutes the first project of Vitality.Swiss, Switzerland’s public diplomacy program on the road to Expo 2025 Osaka-Kansai, featuring Sustainability, Health and Innovation as main themes. You can find further information about the progress of the campaign at The full Vitality.Swiss platform will be unveiled on September 22, 2022.

Period: July 30 to October 10, 2022 (11:00 – 19:00)
Venue: Sakae-cho 7-chome, Tokoname-shi, Aichi, Japan
More information: Vitality.Swiss

ETH Zurich’s three-storey tall timber frame structure
ETH Zurich’s three-storey tall timber frame structure ©Ayako Suzuki