Ryo Abe

Architect (Japan)

Ryo Abe is a Japanese architect whose philosophy promotes harmony between the human and the natural world. He has been invited several times by the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Marseille to lead workshops on the entries to Calanques National Park. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Waseda University in 1992 and he founded his Architects Atelier in 1995. He is the winner of the Award for Emerging Architecture in 2010, the World Culture Building in 2011, and the International Architecture Awards in 2016.

Learn more: www.aberyo.com

Ryo Abe, Port-Miou, 2018
Ryo Abe, Sketches, 2018
Ryo Abe, Sketches, FRAC PACA Exhibition, 2018
Ryo Abe, Seed, Port-Miou, 2018


Any door, even one that is open, marks a separation of the inside to the outside. In his project Approaches, Ryo Abe wanted to imagine a natural architecture, leaving behind ideas of borders. Port-Miou, this immense "interstice" more or less abandoned to nature where people pass through rather than stop to appreciate, has the potential to let us imagine a symbiosis between human and nature, offering an experience as opposed to a simple entry point. Ryo Abe’s idea is best imagined as a thread that marks the path through the calanque. A thread that reinterprets our relationship with nature. Certain boundaries are passed more obviously than others: the end of the tarmac, that of the marked track… but the thread serves to link past, present and future, creating a bridge between the users of the park to the biodiversity and landscape. Port-Miou could be landscaped with the help of residents, researchers and park users to offer a complete "summary" of all the calanques: large open spaces in front of the sea; pathways that lead us away from the town and invite us to become encompassed by nature; an access to the sea-front; to information on biodiversity, history and patrimony; a recreational point; a space for both scientific study and culture.

In 2018, the seed for this vast project has been planted. In 2019, Ryo Abe is back to pursue this work. What if, instead of being simply a space that we pass through to reach the calanques further along, this old industrial site that the pines try to hide, abandoned but never reintegrated back into nature, became an experimental garden ? The idea has already begun to grow through those who have met and discussed with Ryo Abe. It is taking root by our desire to welcome and to feel welcomed by nature.

Ryo Abe was in residence at Camargo from January 30 to February 17, 2019.

Approaches has been conceived by Ryo Abe in partnership with the Camargo Foundation, the Calanques National Park, the OSU Pythéas Institute (Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, IRD), and with the support of the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation, Mécènes du Sud, MP2018, Conseil départemental des Bouches-du-Rhône, La Serrurerie, the Town of Cassis, and the EU-Japan Fest. 

The project was still in development in 2019 thanks to the support of the Préfecture des Bouches-du-Rhône.