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These Watercolors Capture the Unsung Architecture of Tokyo's Eclectic Storefronts

14:30 - 13 February, 2017
© Mateusz Urbanowicz
© Mateusz Urbanowicz

A renowned symbol of the modern world, Tokyo is a city commonly associated with bright lights, innovative technology and sleek buildings. So when Polish artist Mateusz Urbanowicz first moved to Tokyo, he was taken aback by the number of old, architecturally eclectic storefronts that continued to flourish within the city.

“When I moved to Tokyo, more than 3 years ago I was really surprised that upon my walks I encountered so many shops still in business in really old buildings,” Urbanowicz explains. “Differently to Kobe, where the earthquake wiped out a lot of these old downtown houses and shops, in Tokyo they still survive.”

Inspired by the buildings’ resilience and their unique architectural features, Urbanowicz set out to document the storefronts in a series of watercolor illustrations, capturing the process through making-of videos.

Kobayashi hair salon from Sanbanchyo district. Image © Mateusz Urbanowicz Chinese food restaurant from around the Takadanobaba district and Miyake bicycle shop based on shops from Kagurazaka and Kichijyouji. Image © Mateusz Urbanowicz Noike sushi restaurant from Yanaka district. Image © Mateusz Urbanowicz Nakashimaya Japanese sake shop from Mejiro district and Kitchen Kuku restaurant from Kichijyouji district. Image © Mateusz Urbanowicz +7

First Look at Kazuyo Sejima's Sumida Hokusai Museum

16:00 - 5 January, 2017
First Look at Kazuyo Sejima's Sumida Hokusai Museum, © Vincent Hecht
© Vincent Hecht

In this photoset, Vincent Hecht takes his lens into the recently completed Sumida Hokusai Museum, designed by pritzker prize winner Kazuyo Sejima, one half of the acclaimed international firm SANAA. Located in the Tokyo neighborhood of Sumida, the 4-story, angular structure will house a collection of over 1800 works by world-renowned ukiyo-e woodblock painter Katsushika Hokusai, who lived in Sumida over 200 years ago.

© Vincent Hecht © Vincent Hecht © Vincent Hecht © Vincent Hecht +21

Kengo Kuma’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium Begins Construction

14:00 - 14 December, 2016
Kengo Kuma’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium Begins Construction, © Japan Sports Council / via Curbed
© Japan Sports Council / via Curbed

Construction has begun on Kengo Kuma’s design for the Tokyo 2020 National Olympic Stadium, a year after the scheme was selected to replace the original stadium design by Zaha Hadid Architects and three and a half years before the event’s opening ceremony on July 24, 2020.

EN-House / Meguro Architecture Laboratory

20:00 - 7 November, 2016
EN-House / Meguro Architecture Laboratory, © Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

© Shinkenchiku-sha © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura +31

Tokyo Vertical Cemetery Competition Winners Announced

06:00 - 27 October, 2016
Tokyo Vertical Cemetery Competition Winners Announced, Courtesy of Arch Out Loud
Courtesy of Arch Out Loud

Architectural research initiative arch out loud has announced the winners of Tokyo Vertical Cemetery, its international open ideas competition that sought solutions to Tokyo’s rising issue of burial space. 

Sited in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, the competition challenged architects and designers to develop proposals for a vertical cemetery that explores the relationship between life and death in the city while taking into account the cultural identity that is tied to death.

From 460 proposals representing 54 countries and six continents, one winner and three runners-up were selected by a jury including David Adjaye, Tom Wiscombe, Alison Killing, and more.

The winners of the Tokyo Vertical Cemetery competition are:

Tokyo Pop Lab Competition Winners Announced

05:00 - 18 October, 2016
By Stella Cinzia, Leonardo Ramondetti, Marco Lagamba & Francesco Montesoro. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders
By Stella Cinzia, Leonardo Ramondetti, Marco Lagamba & Francesco Montesoro. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Detailed descriptions of the winning Bee BreedersTokyo Pop Lab proposals have been released. The competition brief called for a new program for studying and producing pop culture media in Tokyo. Drawing from a wide range of international pop culture history, entrants were encouraged to investigate the migration and evolution of pop culture across the world over time, and examine the relationship of culture and architecture. 

In challenging established typologies of pop culture, proposals exhibited a wide range of ideologies. Successful submissions were chosen for their nuanced depictions of pop culture, clear representation, and coherent agendas for the new laboratory's program.

Take a look at the winners of the Tokyo Pop Lab competition after the break.

By Stella Cinzia, Leonardo Ramondetti, Marco Lagamba & Francesco Montesoro. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders By Stella Cinzia, Leonardo Ramondetti, Marco Lagamba & Francesco Montesoro. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders By Alina Kvirkveliya & Sacha Gengler. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders By Attilio de Palma, Andrea Longo & Enrico Nicli. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders +38

DESCENTE BLANC Marunouchi / Schemata Architects

17:00 - 17 October, 2016

© Kenta Hasegawa © Kenta Hasegawa © Kenta Hasegawa © Kenta Hasegawa +13

House of Fluctuations / Satoru Hirota Architects

20:00 - 9 October, 2016
House of Fluctuations / Satoru Hirota Architects, © Satoru Hirota Architects
© Satoru Hirota Architects

© Satoru Hirota Architects © Satoru Hirota Architects © Satoru Hirota Architects © Satoru Hirota Architects +38

This Kickstarter Campaign is 3D Printing Tokyo in 100 Pieces

09:30 - 8 October, 2016

Have you ever wanted to look over an entire city from the comfort of your own desk? Do you have a sentimental relationship with the city of Tokyo? If you answered "yes" to these questions, iJet Inc, a 3D print solutions company, along with DMM.com Ltd, have launched a Kickstarter that might be for you.

One Hundred Tokyo is a project aiming to reproduce Tokyo’s urban landscape in the form of one hundred ten by ten centimeter 3D printed models. All of the data and equipment needed to gather visual information of the city has been provided by ZENRIN Co Ltd, who traveled around the landscape in specialized vehicles. The 3D models created by this process are then printed on 3DSystems printers, using gypsum powder that is coated in a special resin in order to harden, and then coated once again in resin paint to achieve the full-color skyline.

Courtesy of iJet Inc. Courtesy of iJet Inc. Courtesy of iJet Inc. Courtesy of iJet Inc. +4

AD Classics: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building / Kenzō Tange

04:00 - 27 September, 2016
AD Classics: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building / Kenzō Tange, No.1 Building
No.1 Building

The career of Japanese architect Kenzō Tange features a curious anomaly: he received the same commission twice. In 1952, during the early stages of his career, Tange designed an administrative building in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo, for the city's metropolitan government. Over thirty years later, when the government relocated to Shinjuku, Tokyo, he again won the commission to design its administrative building. Completed in 1991, this would be one of his last, and most ambitious, projects. The second incarnation now dominates the city’s skyline, its highly distinctive design guaranteeing it landmark status. Nicknamed Tochō (an abbreviation of its Japanese name Tōkyō-to Chōsha), its architectural references to both tradition and modernity act as a visual metaphor for the eclectic city over which its inhabitants govern.

No.1 Building No.2 Building Elevation of No.1 Building (Public Domain) Plan of the Complex (Public Domain) +12

SOM Breaks Ground on One of the Largest Redevelopments in Tokyo’s History

14:30 - 21 September, 2016
SOM Breaks Ground on One of the Largest Redevelopments in Tokyo’s History, © Methanoia
© Methanoia

Construction is now underway on Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s (SOM) OH-1 redevelopment project in the Ohtemachi District of Tokyo, Japan. Covering a 20,000 square meter (215,000 square foot) site, the project constitutes one of the largest revitalization projects in Tokyo’s history. The complex includes two high-rise, mixed-use buildings containing a luxury hotel, commercial office space, retail and cultural facilities, and is centered around a park and public area that will visually connect the development to the adjacent Imperial Palace East Gardens.

House in Kugayama / miCo.

19:00 - 12 September, 2016
House in Kugayama  / miCo., © Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura +11

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Mizuki Imamura + Isao Shinohara
  • Area

    119.24 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Copenhagen Named the World's Most Livable City in Metropolis Magazine's 2016 Rankings

09:30 - 11 September, 2016
Copenhagen Named the World's Most Livable City in Metropolis Magazine's 2016 Rankings, Copenhagen. Public domain image <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vor_Frelsers_Kirke-view8.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a>.
Copenhagen. Public domain image via Wikimedia.

Metropolis Magazine has released their 2016 rankings of the world's most "livable" cities. Acknowledging that what makes a city "livable" can often be subjective, the team at Metropolis emphasizes that in creating the list they "focused on the concerns at Metropolis’ core—housing, transportation, sustainability, and culture." The result of this research was last year's top prize-winner Toronto dropping to the number 9 spot and Copenhagen, which last year took the number 4 spot, jumping to the top. Rounding out the top three are Berlin and Helsinki.

Video: Inside Sou Fujimoto's Pavilion at HOUSE VISION Tokyo 2016

14:00 - 31 August, 2016

In this video, French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht takes us inside “Rental Space Tower,” Sou Fujimoto’s pavilion at HOUSE VISION Tokyo 2016. Designed in partnership with residential leasing and management company Daito Trust Construction, the structure aims to challenge the conventional typologies of rental housing, maximizing the amount of shared space within the complex.

Check out the video for a look inside the structure, and continue reading for more on the concept behind the design.

CASA O / Takahashi Ippei Office

20:00 - 19 August, 2016
CASA O / Takahashi Ippei Office, © Ippei Takahashi
© Ippei Takahashi

© Ippei Takahashi © Ippei Takahashi © Ippei Takahashi © Ippei Takahashi +13

Ondo / MAMM DESIGN

03:00 - 19 August, 2016
Ondo  / MAMM DESIGN, © Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano +17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Area

    89.34 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

New Images of Completed Pavilions Released as HOUSE VISION Tokyo Opens to the Public

14:00 - 1 August, 2016
New Images of Completed Pavilions Released as HOUSE VISION Tokyo Opens to the Public, Courtesy of HOUSE VISION Tokyo
Courtesy of HOUSE VISION Tokyo

New images from HOUSE VISION Tokyo 2016 have been released as the event opened to the public this past weekend. This year’s theme, “Co-Dividual: Split and Connect / Separate and Come Together,” explores how architecture can create new connections between individuals, and the ways Japanese housing can adapt to cultural shifts through the implementation of technology.

This year’s exhibition features house designs by top Japanese architects including Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban and Atelier Bow-Wow, each paired with a leading company to envision and implement new strategies in housing design.

Continue after the break to see images from the event and the pavilions.

Call for Ideas: Tokyo Vertical Cemetery | Death in the City

19:20 - 6 July, 2016
Call for Ideas: Tokyo Vertical Cemetery | Death in the City

Private developers in Tokyo have used temples as covers to build cemetery plots which they can sell for ten times the price of land without taxes. This practice results in the unwanted placement of cemeteries adjacent to homes in the already densely populated neighborhoods of Tokyo. Amplifying this issue are the ever-changing demographics of Tokyo. Recent studies show that the city’s average age is rapidly increasing, with nearly twenty-five percent of the population being 65 or older and a large majority over the age of 30. Similarly, more and more rural residents are coming into Tokyo, increasing the overall population. As the age and population increase, Tokyo is being forced to face the issue of burial space.