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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

Save Japan’s Modern Architecture

00:00 - 16 December, 2014

As preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics escalate, so do concerns regarding the preservation of the city’s heritage; and more specifically, according to Tomas Maier, Japan’s modernist architecture. The Bottega Venneta creative director recently embarked on an “urgent visit” to Japan in an effort to evaluate the city’s risk of loosing its modernist icons. With special consideration for the overlooked and threatened Hotel Okura, Maier believes that this Yoshiro Taniguchi-designed landmark is just one of many structures at risk of falling to "progress.”

Watch the video above and learn more about how you can help preserve the Hotel Okura, here

Design Your Own Home With MUJI's Prefab Vertical House

00:00 - 25 October, 2014
Design Your Own Home With MUJI's Prefab Vertical House, Courtesy of MUJI
Courtesy of MUJI

Japanese design brand MUJI has taken a bold step into architectural territory. A few years after a collaboration with Kengo Kuma to design two prefab houses, the company has come forth with a Vertical House in Tokyo. Streamlined and efficient, the home accommodates all the demands of residential living within a small plot of land.

Interior images and more information, after the break.

Courtesy of MUJI Courtesy of MUJI Courtesy of MUJI Courtesy of MUJI +9