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Sambuichi: the Water
March 21st 2017 – February 2nd 2018

Please notice that our opening hours change during the year. In January we are open from 11 am - 2 pm.

In 2017 the ambitious exhibition in The Cisterns will be a journey through an underground sea of light and darkness, when the internationally acknowledged Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi modifies the monumental halls. The Water is Sambuichis first major exhibition outside Japan

Sambuichi utilises the details and natural phenomena of the Earth as building materials. His buildings give form to the character and hidden qualities of a specific place. The accumulation of ice on surrounding tree branches can dictate the structure of a building, and the direction of the wind can inform the format and function of a roof. Instead of creating a physical boundary between nature and architecture, he creates a symbiosis.

The architecture of Sambuichi is driven by the forces of nature, and his low-tech approach has become an admirable example of how to inhabit the Earth in a sustainable way and how to face the global challenges of the 21st century.

Sambuichi has scrutinized the depths of The Cisterns and the changing expression of the surrounding park, Søndermarken, through the changing seasons. This March, the numerous investigations take form as a wondrous art installation. Once again water will fill the former water reservoir. Natural daylight will find its way and plants will grow in a climate characterized by a high level of CO2. When crossing the underground sea, the visitor will walk on an interpretation of the Japanese Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Miyajima.

“It was an almost magical encounter, when we invited Sambuichi to see The Cisterns in 2015,” says Director of The Frederiksberg Museums, Astrid la Cour. “The various characteristics of The Cisterns that could be considered problematic – the constant flow of water, the extremely high humidity level, the 17 seconds of echo and the absence of daylight – were to Sambuichi the best possible starting point for a project. He immediately understood the unique character of the place.”

In accordance with the working method of Sambuichi, the opening hours of the exhibition will vary with the length of day. During winter, the exhibition will close as the sun sets at 3pm and during the brightest summer months The Cisterns will stay open until 8pm. Stay updated on the changing opening hours at

Hiroshi Sambuichi (born 1968) established Sambuichi Architects in 2001. Early in his career Sambuichi obtained international recognition, and stands today as one of the top experimenta¬lists of sustainable architecture. Built upon both personal intuition and scientific investigations, his architecture attains a rare balance between poetics and science. Sambuichi is Honorary Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. In the beginning of 2017 he was rewarded the prestigious Wallpaper* Design Award for Naoshima Hall as best new public building.

The exhibition is part of the official celebration in 2017 of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Japan.
The Danish Architecture Centre shows the exhibition Hiroshi Sambuichi – Moving Materials from April 28 – June 25, which offers an in-depth insight into the architecture and thinking of Sambuichi.

For more information please contact curator Sille Brethvad, phone: +45 30738032, e-mail:

Sambuichi Architects
Rokko Observatory// Foto: Sambuichi Architects

150 Years

In 2017 Denmark and Japan celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations. A variety of art cultural events will take place in both countries throughout the year to mark the anniversary.


Hiroshi Sambuichi


Born 1968, Yamaguchi, Japan.
Sambuichi graduated from the Department of Architecture, Tokyo University of Science, and worked for Shinichi Ogawa & Architects. He established Sambuichi Architects in 2001. 

Read the article: Hiroshi Sambuichi - The nature of architecture