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Monocle 24 Travels to Tokyo, Vienna and Melbourne Examining 'Quality of Life'

04:00 - 26 June, 2015
Monocle 24 Travels to Tokyo, Vienna and Melbourne Examining 'Quality of Life', 'The Urbanist' travels to Tokyo. Image Courtesy of Monocle
'The Urbanist' travels to Tokyo. Image Courtesy of Monocle

For this week's editions of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, and The Urbanist, their weekly "guide to making better cities," the Monocle team travel across three continents exploring the seemingly illusive question of 'quality of life.'

In this week's edition of The Urbanist, and to coincide with Monocle's annual Quality of Life survey, Andrew Tuck examines why Tokyo is at the forefront of an urban-garden revolution, how the Austrian capital is planning on self-facilitating its development as a major business hub, and talks to Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, about the apparent cultural boom currently taking place in his city. In Section D, Josh Fehnert transports listeners to the UK's "post-industrial heartland" to talk to the people behind this year's Sheffield Design Week, plus more.

Listen to both episodes after the break.

Japan Stands Behind Plans to Build Zaha Hadid's Tokyo Stadium

13:44 - 25 June, 2015
Japan Stands Behind Plans to Build Zaha Hadid's Tokyo Stadium, © ZHA
© ZHA

Despite harsh criticism for being too large and costly, Tokyo's 2020 Zaha Hadid-designed National Stadium will be realized. As USA Today reports, the Japanese government has announced its decision to move forward with the design, saying any major modifications would lead to construction delays. 

The 80,000-seat stadium has already undergone some design changes, due to backlash led by Pritzker laureates Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki; it's most recent design is said to be more "efficient, user-focussed, adaptable and sustainable." However controversy continues as the city and central government must now decide how to split the stadium's estimated $2 billion bill.

10 Highlights from Guardian Cities' "History of Cities in 50 Buildings"

09:30 - 31 May, 2015
10 Highlights from Guardian Cities' "History of Cities in 50 Buildings", Fiat Tagliero, Asmara. Image © Flickr user David Stanley
Fiat Tagliero, Asmara. Image © Flickr user David Stanley

All good things must come to an end, and Guardian Cities' excellent "History of Cities in 50 Buildings" series is sadly no exception, with only a few more left to be published before they hit 50. The whole series is definitely worth the read, bringing in the best of academic and architectural writing from guest authors and the Guardian's own Cities team, but if you're strapped for time - and if you're an architect, it's fairly likely that's true - we've rounded up 10 highlights from the list to get you started.

Amazonas Theatre, Manaus. Image © Wikimedia user Leaderfo Narkomfin Building, Moscow. Image © Wikimedia user NVO Ponte Tower, Johannesburg. Image © Flickr user fiverlocker Byker Wall Estate, Newcastle. Image © Flickr user George Rex +11

HOUSE #01 | Boundary House / Niji Architects

19:00 - 21 May, 2015
HOUSE #01 | Boundary House / Niji Architects, © Masafumi Harada
© Masafumi Harada

© Masafumi Harada © Masafumi Harada © Masafumi Harada © Masafumi Harada +24

Checkered House / Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office

18:00 - 14 May, 2015
Checkered House / Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office, © Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura +19

Light Cave / Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

19:00 - 12 May, 2015
Light Cave / Moriyuki Ochiai Architects, © Tetsu Hiraga
© Tetsu Hiraga

© Tetsu Hiraga © Tetsu Hiraga © Tetsu Hiraga © Tetsu Hiraga +10

Open Call: Our Future With/Without Parks 2105

19:00 - 16 April, 2015
Open Call: Our Future With/Without Parks 2105, Courtesy of JILA
Courtesy of JILA

The Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture (JILA) will be celebrating its 90th anniversary in May 2015, and is pleased to host an international competition for design proposals envisioning future Tokyo with/without parks in 2105, 90 years from today.

"Classic Japan" Episode 3: Kagawa Prefectural Government Hall / Kenzo Tange

16:00 - 10 April, 2015

This installment of Vincent Hecht's "Classic Japan" series takes you through Kenzo Tange's 1958 Kagawa Prefectural Government Hall. Emulating traditional Japanese wood construction, the reinforced concrete structure forms an L-shape around a central courtyard with a connecting eight-story administrative office tower and low-rise assembly hall.

LHM Kindergarten / Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

21:00 - 9 April, 2015
LHM Kindergarten / Moriyuki Ochiai Architects, © Atsushi Ishida
© Atsushi Ishida

© Atsushi Ishida © Atsushi Ishida © Atsushi Ishida © Atsushi Ishida +21

Harumi Residential Tower / Richard Meier & Partners Architects

06:00 - 8 April, 2015
Harumi Residential Tower  / Richard Meier & Partners Architects, © Ishiguro Photographic Institute
© Ishiguro Photographic Institute

© Ishiguro Photographic Institute © Ishiguro Photographic Institute © Ishiguro Photographic Institute © Ishiguro Photographic Institute +16

Toshiko Mori Calls Tokyo's At-Risk Hotel Okura "A Very Beautiful Orphan Child"

13:00 - 4 April, 2015

A photo posted by ArchDaily 🏠 (@archdaily) on

With the planned demolition of Hotel Okura in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games fast approaching, architects and designers have rallied around the Modernist icon, calling for its preservation. In the latest and most high profile campaign, Japanese architect Toshiko Mori and Bottega Veneta's Tomas Maier have joined forces to span a breadth of platforms from a symposium held last November to an Instagram hashtag (#mymomentatokura) sharing images of the beloved hotel. Most recently, Mori sat down with Architectural Digest to discuss her passion for Hotel Okura, the origins of the campaign, and Japanese Modernism. Read the full interview and see why Mori says Hotel Okura is "a very beautiful orphan child," here

Miu Miu Aoyama Store / Herzog & de Meuron

21:00 - 31 March, 2015
Miu Miu Aoyama Store / Herzog & de Meuron, © Nacasa & Partners
© Nacasa & Partners

© Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners +12

SEPA / +S/Shintaro Matsushita+Takashi Suzuki

23:00 - 23 March, 2015
SEPA / +S/Shintaro Matsushita+Takashi Suzuki, © Hiroyuki Hirai
© Hiroyuki Hirai

© Hiroyuki Hirai © Hiroyuki Hirai © Hiroyuki Hirai © Hiroyuki Hirai +17

Tokyo Loft / G architects

01:00 - 16 February, 2015
Tokyo Loft / G architects, © Katsumi Hirabayashi
© Katsumi Hirabayashi

© Katsumi Hirabayashi © Katsumi Hirabayashi © Katsumi Hirabayashi © Katsumi Hirabayashi +26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Architects in Charge

    Teruya Kido/ Suma-Saga-Fudosan Inc. + Ryohei Tanaka
  • Area

    87.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

"Classic Japan" Episode 1: Yoyogi National Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange

00:00 - 3 February, 2015

From Tokyo-based French architect and film maker Vincent Hecht comes "Classic Japan," a series of short films focussed on Japanese architecture from between the 1950s and 80s. 

The first installment takes viewers into Kenzo Tange's 1964 Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Shibuya, built to house the swimming and diving events of the 1964 Summer Olympics. Completed in less than two years and seating upwards of 15,000 spectators, the Gymnasium is renowned for its suspension roof, and will host the handball competitions during Tokyo's 2020 Summer Olympics.

China’s Pearl River Delta Overtakes Tokyo as World’s Largest Urban Area

00:00 - 28 January, 2015
China’s Pearl River Delta Overtakes Tokyo as World’s Largest Urban Area, The Pearl River Delta's urban growth in 1973 and 2003. Image © Flicker CC user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The Pearl River Delta's urban growth in 1973 and 2003. Image © Flicker CC user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

China’s Pearl River Delta has surpassed Tokyo in both size and population, making it the largest urban area in the world, according to the World Bank. The colossal megapolis - a conglomerate of several cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan - is a central component to China’s manufacturing and trade industries. 

It is now home to 42 million - more people than the countries of Canada, Argentina or Australia. And, considering nearly two-thirds of the East Asia region’s population (64%) is still “non-urban,” the area is expected to grow exponentially. 

House in Tsubaki / PANDA

01:00 - 6 January, 2015
House in Tsubaki / PANDA, © Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura +30

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Architects in Charge

    Kozo Yamamoto, Shinji Ikeda
  • Contractor

    AZ Construction
  • Area

    95.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Tsubomi House / FLAT HOUSE

01:00 - 17 December, 2014
Tsubomi House / FLAT HOUSE, © Takumi Ota
© Takumi Ota

© Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota +24

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Yoshinori Sakano
  • Area

    77.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2010
  • Photographs