Located in front of the Kamiari-mon gate in Asakusa, Kengo Kuma’s Culture Tourist Information Center serves as a beacon to the local area as well as housing programs to serve both tourists and the local community. This video via ja+u takes you through the 7 stacked volumes that make up the 8 internal floors that house a wide variety of programming ranging from meeting rooms to tourist information kiosks. The construction uniquely integrates HVAC equipment in the gaps between the stacked volumes. The interior structure of heavy timber members are left exposed which complement the dynamism of the vertical volumes, while the language of wood is continued onto the exterior by means of laminated timber louvers.
American retailer Coach has commissioned OMA to develop a new merchandising system that accommodates Coach’s wide diversity of products while returning to the clarity of Coach’s heritage stores. Since establishing its first workshop 1941, Coach has expanded from a specialist leather atelier to a global distributor of “democratized luxury goods”. This expansion has clouded the clarity of the brand’s original library-like stores, which used a rigorous organizational system that categorically sort projects inside minimal wooden shelving at assisted counters. OMA intends to create a flexible, modular system that embodies the clarity of the original stores and responds to the individual needs of locale.
Continue reading for more.
Special thanks to Emmet Truxes, from Harvard GSD, for sharing this animated video of Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi Olympic Arena with us. Check out the amazing visualizations set to music by Gray Reinhard (we particularly love the build-up of the magnificently suspended roof around minute 5, which is then further detailed a few minutes later) which was created by a team of six students - Emmet Truxes, Nathan Shobe, Julian Bushman-Copp, Mijung Kim, Jeffrey Laboskey, Misato Odanaka - to understand the construction of the building’s innovate tensile structure.
More about the project after the break.
Our friends at the ja+u have shared with us a video tour of House in Komazawa, designed by Go Hasegawa & Associates. This rustic, Tokyo home is fully clad a variety of eucalyptus wood. Inside, a permeable second floor visually connects to the spaces throughout the entire house and allows for the passage of natural light from the library skylight above to the main living room below.
Architects: Aida Atelier + Kuno Lab
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Design Architect: Tomoro Aida & Toshimitsu Kuno & Shinpei Uehara (Aida Atelier, Inc. & Kuno Lab. / Nagoya City Univ. Graduate School of Design and Architecture)
Executive Architect: Tomoro Aida & Toshimitsu Kuno & Shinpei Uehara & Tomoki Nagase
Site Area: 179.07 sqm
Photographs: Tatsuya Noaki
Architecture: APOLLO Architects & Associates - Satoshi Kurosaki
Location: Kitayamacho Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan
Completion: March 2012
Site Area: 104.36 sqm
Total Floor Area: 88.98sqm (40.99sqm/1F, 40.99sqm/2F)
Structural Engineer: Kenta Masaki
Mechanical Engineer: Zenei Shimada
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa
The second film by Sofia Coppola was acclaimed by the critics, and with fair reasons. It shows in a subtle but deep way the contrasts between Japanese and American cultures, utilizing the amazing city of Tokyo as a background for this.
Characters are immerse in a quite different environment, which atmosphere is shown through the scenes where they interact with the foreign surroundings. This atmospheres are represented in a way beyond the typical approach of other films, trying somehow to really understand how this spaces are perceived.
As always, we wait for your comments about the movie and specifically about this culture shock concept and architecture.
Since it’s opening on May 22, the Tokyo Skytree has already experienced an overwhelming amount of visitors. As reported by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the 634-meter (2,080 feet) structure has surpassed the previously tallest communications tower, Canton Tower in China, by 34 meters. The Tokyo Skytree took four years to construct and is double the height of Japan’s 333-meter Tokyo Tower.
Tokyo Skytree’s name and design concept is described by the developer as, “The creation of city scenery transcending time: A fusion of traditional Japanese beauty and neo-futuristic design”. Continue reading for more.
You may remember Sou Fujimoto Architects radical House NA from this video we shared with you last November. Designed for a young couple in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood, the 914 square-foot transparent house contrasts the typical concrete block walls seen in most of Japan’s dense residential areas. Associated with the concept of living within a tree, the spacious interior is comprised of 21 individual floor plates, all situated at various heights, that satisfy the clients desire to live as nomads within their own home.
Continue after the break for more images and information on House NA.
The HA Tower, designed by Frontoffice + Francois Blanciak, proposes a hybrid model for urban life that embraces the city, pulling it in the heart of the units, while still offering large open spaces that otherwise are only available on the urban fringe. Located in Higashi-Azabu, within walking distance of a cluster of rail lines, Shiba Park, and the iconic Tokyo Tower, the corner site is small, covering only 130 square meters and is constrained by a floor area ratio that limits construction to 8 floors. More images and architects’ description after the break.