‘GA House Project 2011′

by Mike Hamilton

GA Gallery

Closes May 22

GA (Global Architecture) is currently holding its annual “GA House Project” exhibition, featuring some of the world’s most cutting-edge trends in residential architectural designs from the past 12 months. The designs span a wide variety of styles, from the grandiose sculpted chic houses overlooking the Mediterranean by Zadir Hadid to compact projects in urban Los Angeles by Sou Fujimoto (pictured). The exhibition also hosts a design by Tadao Ando of Omotesando Hills fame. As GA’s creator, Yukio Futagawa believes that the standard of good design has been diminishing in recent years, and as a consequence the project has expanded to allow a greater variety of works from more than 50 architects.

The show is a mixture of pin-up presentations and scale models set in a sparse gallery. The well-stocked bookshop at the front of the gallery is worth a good browse, containing back catalogs of all GA’s self-titled publications and other books published through the company.

GA began as a publication in 1970 and the publication soon became synonymous the world over for its superb architectural photography. By 1983 the gallery in Tokyo had opened its doors. Despite Japan having provided the world with some of its best architects and inspirational designs, GA remains only one of two architectural galleries in Tokyo. It produces four exhibitions a year, half of which are bilingual.

The expanded GA House Project is proving successful with the show already pulling in more visitors than it did last year. It’s too early to say what affect the recent Tohoku earthquake and tsunami will have on the trends and philosophies behind next year’s designs. Nonetheless, the recent events should focus people’s attention on how essential good housing design is and how closely related it is to everyday life.

The GA Gallery is a 1-min. walk from Kitasando Station (Fukutoshin Line); open 12 p.m.- 6.30 p.m.; admission ¥500 (an accompanying book is also available for ¥2,990). For more information, visit www.ga-ada.co.jp