Jo Nagasaka’s

Happa in Nakameguro

Written by Ikko Yokayama
Photography by Shimizu Ken

It was in the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam where I first met Jo Nagasaka.

This Japanese architect who set up the space named Happa in Nakameguro, Tokyo, where he has his own studio and very special shares mates, such as the contemporary art gallery “Aoyama|Meguro” and Shuhei Nakamura Shuhei, who is a building technician. This refurbished building, located in the busy Komazawa street, used to be a warehouse of a shipment company, but now it has been transformed with a fully transparent glass façade, becoming a place where a variety of things happen besides the routine daily works. It has not only the functions of a studio, but also being used as a workshop, for exhibitions, meetings, flea markets, as a hotel and even once it was turned into a wedding hall.


Nagasaka was in Amsterdam soon after doing his temporary hotel project Llove Hotel in Daikanyama, which happened because of Happa, and brought Lloyd Hotel and Nagasaka together. Normally most of people get to know Nagasaka through Happa so I, living in Stockholm, met him indirectly there in Amsterdam but I guess I can say that still our meeting was through the filter of Happa. Because of my job as a curator and writer, I have been concerned in communications in the fields of exhibitions or printed matters, but the reason why I got so interested in Jo was the impression I had even before visiting Happa. It has a special something that made me feel it would be impossible to technically curate a place like Happa. After that, we have started to work together with some projects, however, I’m always impatient at the fact that Happa is miles away from where I live. So I asked him “What’s new?” with a kind of jealousy of absence.