“When it comes to contemporary house design, the Japanese can be fearless and willing to forego comforts dear to most of us in order to live in a work of art. Shigeru Ban once remarked that he loved working for clients in Japan because they were willing to take a design further than any Western client.” —from the introduction, “Architecture for Living”
Weekend House Alley
Who? Chiba Manabu Architects
Where? Kamakura, Kanagawa
The main features of the design are the passageways that divide the complex into seven irregularly shaped volumes. These radiating communal corridors provide access to private and commercial units situated in these seven volumes. They also create vistas of the coastline and neighborhood in a manner that echoes the ancient paths that crisscross the hills of Kamakura.
Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
Who? Tange Associates
Where? Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
“Nothing marks the contrast between architecture in the late twentieth century to that built in this decade than the Mode Gakuen designed by Paul Tange and the nearby skyscrapers in Western Shinjuku designed by his father Kenzo Tange[…] The tower’s distinctive form echoes the “Cocoon” in its name and the fundamental concept of the structure—to provide a nurturing space for students to grow and learn.”
Who? Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Architects
According to Nakamura, House C will never truly be finished. Its earth-covered roof will grow, blossom and wane, altering the house’s profile with the seasons and the way the owners tend it. Its materiality will ensure that the house will continue to evolve long after construction has stopped.
Fuji Kindergarten Montessori School
Who? Tezuka Architects
Where? Tachikawa, Tokyo
“To be in a space where people can feel the breeze, the sunlight, the changing of the seasons, where they can forge and nourish relationships with one another. That shouldn’t be so complicated, should it?”—Takaharu Tezuka
Tama Art University Library
Who? Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects
Where? Hachioji, Tokyo
The façade of the library recalls a Roman aqueduct. However, no ancient arch ever looked so weightless and free flowing. Steel, reinforced concrete, and custom-made glass are seamlessly fitted together here to create a smooth, taut surface. Each arch varies in height, width, and form, like the Pont du Gard seen through an Alice in Wonderland prism.
Fussa City Hall
Who? Riken Yamamoto & Associates
Where? Fussa City, Tokyo
“In my opinion, building a city hall is a chance for the local government to speak to its citizens and tell them how it plans to build the local community. If a city hall is going to be there for 100 years, then it is necessary to think about the citizens now, and a 100 years from now.”—Riken Yamamoto