Happy Birthday, Toyo Ito!

© Yoshiaki Tsutsui

Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito (June 1, 1941) turns 73 today. Renowned for flexible spaces that appeal to the human senses, Ito draws inspiration from the organic forms of nature, prioritizing fluidity between the natural world and the built form in his designs. Ito’s oeuvre defies definition; each of his many works, from the Odate Dome to White U to his masterwork Sendai Mediatheque, is extremely unique. We invite you to explore the The Life and Work of Toyo Ito.

JuuL House / NKS Architects

© Kouji Okamoto

Architects: NKS Architects
Location: Yukuhashi, Fukuoka,
Architect In Charge: Noriko, Kaoru Suehito
Area: 412 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Kouji Okamoto

Shugoin / Love Architecture

© Katsuhisa Kida

Architects: Love Architecture
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Yukio Asari
Area: 514 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Katsuhisa Kida

Ki Se Tsu Hair Salon / iks design

© Keisuke Nakagami

Architects: iks design
Location: , Aichi, Japan
Area: 40.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Keisuke Nakagami

L’Angolino / GENETO

© Yasutake Kondo

Architects: GENETO
Location: , Gunma,
Area: 61.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Yasutake Kondo

Japanese Architect Launches Second Petition Against Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Stadium


Tokyo-based architect Edward Suzuki has launched another petition against Zaha Hadid‘s design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium, claiming it is “overwhelmingly large for the context” and ”will desecrate the ‘sacred grounds’ of Meiji Shrine Outer Gardens”. This is the second petition against the design and is intended to support the earlier petition by Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki by providing an equivalent targeted primarily at English speakers, aiming to “pressure our government not only from within but also from outside of our country.” You can see the petition in full here.

Grass Cave House / Makiko Tsukada Architects

© Shinkenchiku-sha

Architects: Makiko Tsukada Architects
Location: Yokohama, Kanagawa,
Architect In Charge: Makiko Tsukada
Area: 97 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Shinkenchiku-sha

Itoman Gyomin Syokudo / Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop

© Nahoko Koide

Architects: Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop
Location: , Okinawa,
Area: 84.0 sqm
Photographs: Nahoko Koide

Tuneful House / FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

© Yoshihiro Asada

Architects: FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
Location: Shiga,
Site Area: 124,78 sqm
Area: 130 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Yoshihiro Asada

Zenkonyu × Tamping Earth (Work in the Setouchi Triennale 2013) / Tadashi Saito + Atelier NAVE

© Toshihiro Misaki

Architects: Tadashi Saito + Atelier NAVE
Location: Kagawa,
Area: 32.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Toshihiro Misaki

VIDEO: Kengo Kuma on Architecture, Materials And Music

In Kengo Kuma’s work you may see influences of light, transparency and materiality. But when visiting the Woodbury School of Architecture in San Diego, shared a few of his not so apparent influences, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn to jazz music. Make sure to view “Knowing Kuma” to see the architect’s definition of architecture, materials and more.

House in Kashiwa / Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop

Courtesy of Naoomi Kurozumi Architectural Photographic Office

Architects: Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop
Location: Masuo, , Chiba,
Area: 107.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Naoomi Kurozumi Architectural Photographic Office

House for Installation / Jun Murata JAM

Courtesy of Jun Murata

Architects: Jun Murata / JAM
Location: Kashiwara, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Area: 116 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Jun Murata

Video: Shibaura House by Kazuyo Sejima

As a part of his ongoing film series about Japanese architecture, French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht has created this visual exploration of Kazuyo Sejima’s Shibaura House. Completed in 2011, this five story office space is walled almost entirely in glass and features double-height, split level floors that showcase the paths of travel through the building. The building also features a public cafe on the ground floor, and a roof terrace.

In Search Of Invisibility: Jun Aoki’s Omiyamae Gymnasium

© Maria Novozhilova

Japanese architect  is famous, above all, for his rather object-like buildings. Although some of his works explore the theme of ephemerality, most are visually quite striking. That said, his new work, just completed in a small town near Tokyo (Suginami district), searches for invisibility. The huge volume of the covered sports hall Omiyamae Gymnasium is hidden. Approaching to the building, one sees only two ellipse-shaped one-floor structures. Lower than the surrounding city, tailored from small private houses, the newcomer does not stand out at all.

House in Sakura / Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop

© Naomi Kurozumi Architectural Photographic Office

Architects: Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop
Location: , Chiba,
Area: 95.0 sqm
Photographs: Naomi Kurozumi Architectural Photographic Office

E House / Hannat Architects

© Koichi Torimura

Architects: Hannat Architects
Location: Miyagi,
Project Team: Yosuke Hoshina, Risa Tsutsumi
Area: 113 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Koichi Torimura

Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki Petition Against Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympic Stadium


Though it seemed a compromise was met last October, when Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura announced plans to reduce the cost and scale of the Zaha Hadid-designed Tokyo Olympic Stadium, the debate rages on.  

Pritzker laureates and Fumihiko Maki have launched an online to “defend the ginko tree-lined landscape of blue sky and Jingu Outer Gardens” from the construction of Hadid’s “oversized” stadium. 

The petition (now with more than 13,000 signatures) urges the Japan Sports Council, who hand selected Hadid’s winning design alongside Tadao Ando, to reconsider upgrading the existing Meiji Jingo Gaien Stadium and the gardens surrounding it. This solution, they believe, is a more affordable and sustainable alternative that would prevent the relocation of nearby residents. 

Take a tour though Zaha Hadid’s 2020 Olympic Stadium and share your thoughts about the design (and petition), after the break…