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Kame House / Kochi Architect's Studio

  • Architects: Kochi Architect's Studio
  • Location: Niigata, Niigata Prefecture, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Kazuyasu Kochi
  • Area: 135.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Takumi Ota

© Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota

Y Ballet School / y+M

© Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha © Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha © Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha © Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha

Fire Works Villa / TTArchitects

  • Architects: TTArchitects
  • Location: Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Teruki Takayoshi,Kumiko Yamaguchi
  • Area: 124.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Kei Sugino

© Kei Sugino © Kei Sugino © Kei Sugino © Kei Sugino

Zaha Hadid Doesn't Deserve the Tokyo Stadium Commission, and Here's Why

Zaha Hadid Architects are no longer the architects of the New National Stadium, Tokyo's headline venue for the 2020 Olympic Games. You probably already knew - ZHA have been making quite a fuss about it, with a 1,400-word statement released last month and a 23-minute video released yesterday, both arguing that scrapping their design is a bad idea.

Clearly, brevity is not one of ZHA's strong suits, so for those who don't have 30-plus minutes to chew their way through both video and statement, the basics are as follows: the official reason given by the Japanese government for scrapping the stadium has been the rising costs of the design. ZHA have countered this complaint by saying that the rising costs are not a result of their design but of an uncompetitive tender process for the construction, and of skyrocketing construction prices across the whole of Tokyo. They add that by starting the project from scratch, Japan risks overshooting their 2020 deadline for the Olympic venue.

An extra complication is added by the widespread public dislike of the stadium's design, scale and location - most notably coming in the form of a petition led by Fumihiko Maki and Toyo Ito - which has caused some to speculate that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is secretly bowing to political pressure. In response, ZHA's video emphasized the features of the design which were either required by the brief or an attempt to respond to the context, in an attempt to absolve themselves from blame.

However, with the decision to start anew now over a month old, the question remains: will ZHA's attempts to win back the project be enough? More importantly, should this campaign be taken seriously?

© Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects. Image by Methanoia

Lamenting the Loss of Hotel Okura, One of Tokyo's Modernist Gems

The news last year that the Hotel Okura, often described as one of Tokyo´s "Modernist gems," was to be demolished was met with widespread disappointment across the board. Built in 1962 under the design direction of Yoshiro Taniguchi, Hideo Kosaka, Shiko Munakata, and Kenkichi Tomimoto, the hotel has long been considered a significant architectural landmark in the Japanese capital. With only a week to go until the hotel checks out its last guest, Monocle—having been granted exclusive access—have shared with us a film to capture "the gracious ways of this much-loved building."

Slide House / y+M

© Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha © Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha © Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha © Yohei Sasakura / sasa no kurasha

Passive House with Sundial / Kikuma Watanabe

  • Architects: Kikuma Watanabe
  • Location: Kasugaoka, Heguri, Ikoma District, Nara Prefecture 636-0915, Japan
  • Area: 148.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe

Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe

House of the Frame / S PLUS ONE architecture

  • Architects: S PLUS ONE architecture
  • Location: Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
  • Area: 110.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Astushi Isida

© Astushi Isida © Astushi Isida © Astushi Isida © Astushi Isida

Housecut / Starpilots

© Satoshi Asakawa © Satoshi Asakawa © Satoshi Asakawa © Satoshi Asakawa

[ME]morial Thesis Honors 2011 Japan Earthquake Victims

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the coast of Japan at Sendai, damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and taking over 10,000 lives. Over the past three years, only temporary memorial observances have been utilized to honor these victims in Sendai. To address this deficiency, MIT graduate student Beomki Lee has created a concept design for an innovative new memorial space called [ME]morial.

[ME]morial #2: Earth. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee [ME]morial #3: Water. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee [ME]morial #3: Water. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee [ME]morial #1: Air. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee

House in Fukaya / Nobuo Araki

  • Architects: Nobuo Araki
  • Location: Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
  • Area: 90.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Shimizu Ken

© Shimizu Ken © Shimizu Ken © Shimizu Ken © Shimizu Ken

Oryza Nakanoshima Spinning / Naoya Matsumoto Design

© Takeshi Asano © Takeshi Asano © Takeshi Asano © Takeshi Asano

Renhouse / MTKarchitects

  • Architects: MTKarchitects
  • Location: Ina, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Akira Metoki
  • Structural Engineer: Hidemasa Nagata
  • Area: 163.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Yuko Tada

© Yuko Tada © Yuko Tada © Yuko Tada © Yuko Tada

House Ageo / KASA Architects

© Ikunori Yamamoto © Ikunori Yamamoto © Ikunori Yamamoto © Ikunori Yamamoto

Richard Rogers Speaks Out Against Japan's Decision to Scrap Zaha Hadid Stadium

Last month, Japan officially scrapped plans for the controversial Zaha Hadid Architects-designed National Stadium that was intended to be the centerpiece of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Since the decision, ZHA released a statement that denied responsibility for the project's ballooning costs, saying the Japan Sport Council (JSC) has been approving the project's design and budget "at every stage."

Now, British architect Richard Rogers, who served on the jury that selected ZHA's stadium design, has joined the conversation claiming Japan has "lost their nerve" and warning that their decision to "start over from zero" will harm Japan's "reputation as a promoter of world-class architectural design."

Read on for Roger's full statement:

NYT Style Magazine Explores the Cultural Reasons Behind the Demolition of Japan's Hotel Okura

About a year ago, it was announced that Hotel Okura, one of Tokyo’s best-known modernist landmarks, was headed for demolition. With the impending demolition date of the hotel, deemed a “beautiful orphan child,” set for this September, an article from T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s upcoming Women’s Fashion issue looks at Japan's "ambivalent — and unsentimental — relationship with its Modernist architecture."

Kamo House / a.un architects

Courtesy of a.un architects Courtesy of a.un architects Courtesy of a.un architects Courtesy of a.un architects