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Japanese Architecture

Capital Tokyo

Language Japanese

Area 377,972.28 km2

Population 127,110,047

Contemporary Japanese architecture combines a rich mix of traditional design practices and western modern aesthetics. The dialogue between these two is present in the integration of time-honored Japanese architectural elements such as sliding doors (fusama) and modular tatami floor mats with cutting edge design and technology. Japan architecture is at the forefront of investigating questions of micro-housing in its dense cities like Tokyo where the population outnumbers the available space. This page features the work of Japanese architectural offices such as Tadao Ando and Associates and SANAA along with interviews and articles about the ever-changing architectural discourse in Japan.
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Latest projects in Japan

Latest news in Japan

Clouds AO Unveils Floating Space Lab in Japan

05:00 - 15 November, 2018
Clouds AO Unveils Floating Space Lab in Japan, AVATAR X LAB. Image Courtesy of Clouds AO
AVATAR X LAB. Image Courtesy of Clouds AO

Clouds Architecture Office have revealed a new design for a space research lab that floats above a crater in Oita, Japan. Called AVATAR X LAB, the design was made for ANA Holdings Inc. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The lab aims to be part of ANA's AVATAR Vision, an endeavor to advance and pioneer real-world Avatar technologies, and JAXA's new research and development program J-SPARC. The lab was designed to advance understanding of space exploration and development.

Japanese Robot Capable of Installing Drywall by Itself

13:00 - 4 October, 2018
Japanese Robot Capable of Installing Drywall by Itself, HRP-5P Robotic Construction Worker. Image Courtesy of Japan Advanced IST Institute
HRP-5P Robotic Construction Worker. Image Courtesy of Japan Advanced IST Institute

Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute have created HRP-5P, a humanoid robot that can perform common construction tasks, including installing drywall. As TechCrunch reports, HRP-5P uses environmental measurement, object detection and motion planning to perform various tasks. The robot may help in Japan's rapidly aging society where declining birth rates meets a lack of skilled construction workers.

4 Buildings Shortlisted for the RIBA 2018 International Prize

06:30 - 12 September, 2018
4 Buildings Shortlisted for the RIBA 2018 International Prize, Il Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) / Boeri Studio. Image © Giovanni Nardi
Il Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) / Boeri Studio. Image © Giovanni Nardi

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist of four finalist projects in the running for the 2018 RIBA International Prize. A biennial award open to any qualified architect in the world, the International Prize seeks to name the world’s “most inspirational and significant” building. Criteria for consideration include the demonstration of “design excellence, architectural ambition, and [delivery of] meaningful social impact.”

MAD Revitalizes Abandoned Japanese Mountain Tunnel with Elemental Art Trail

16:00 - 6 August, 2018
MAD Revitalizes Abandoned Japanese Mountain Tunnel with Elemental Art Trail, Light Cave (Water). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc
Light Cave (Water). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc

MAD Architects have completed their restoration work on the Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel in Japan’s Niigata prefecture, transforming the historic lookout tunnel into a trail of artistic spaces. The “Tunnel of Light” was opened as part of the 2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, cutting through 750 meters of rock formations to offer a panoramic view across one of Japan’s great landscapes.

Shigeru Ban Creates Temporary Shelter System for Japanese Flooding Victims

16:00 - 16 July, 2018
Shigeru Ban Creates Temporary Shelter System for Japanese Flooding Victims, Courtesy of Voluntary Architects' Network
Courtesy of Voluntary Architects' Network

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban has mobilized his Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) to aid victims of recent devastating floods in Southern Japan. At least 210 people have been killed by flooding and landslides which occurred last week, with a continuing heatwave further hampering recovery efforts.

Hiroshi Sambuichi Wins 2018 Daylight Award for His "Timeless, Fluid" Treatment of Light

04:00 - 21 May, 2018
Hiroshi Sambuichi Wins 2018 Daylight Award for His "Timeless, Fluid" Treatment of Light , The Water - Installation in the Cisterns of Frederiksberg. Image © Jens Markus Lindhe
The Water - Installation in the Cisterns of Frederiksberg. Image © Jens Markus Lindhe

Hiroshi Sambuichi's approach to a site entails long-term study and reflection upon the qualities and forces of nature embedded within. His understanding is “deeper and with a finer grain,” explains American architect and member of The Daylight Award jury James Carpenter as one of several reasons why Sambuichi was recently announced as the latest laureate of the nearly 50-year-old Daylight Award in 2018. In Sambuichi's hands, “light becomes timeless, fluid and rich.”

7 Architects Create 7 New Community Spaces Beneath a Disused Japanese Overpass

08:00 - 17 May, 2018
7 Architects Create 7 New Community Spaces Beneath a Disused Japanese Overpass, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

A +100 meter stretch of land beneath a train overpass in Koganecho, a district of Yokohama, Japan, underwent a progressive refurbishment in which seven different types of community space, each designed by a different architect, were built within a pre-set spatial grid. Historically there were many social issues in the area, largely in relation to its profitable but dangerous black market and red-light district. Once the illegal activity was eradicated in 2005, the underpass presented a great opportunity for social re-development, and the resultant project - the Koganecho Centre - emphasized an age-old Japanese cultural commitment, where what was once broken is used to make something new.

Japanese Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale, to Address Accessibility to Resources

04:00 - 10 May, 2018
Japanese Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale, to Address Accessibility to Resources, A Drawing from A Little Bit of Beijing: 798
A Drawing from A Little Bit of Beijing: 798

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage we present the proposal for the Japan Pavilion. Below, the participants describe their contribution in their own words.

Moriyuki Ochiai Architects Designs Tea Houses Perfect for Stargazing

08:00 - 6 May, 2018
Moriyuki Ochiai Architects Designs Tea Houses Perfect for Stargazing, © Fumio Araki, Yuta Takahashi
© Fumio Araki, Yuta Takahashi

Japan-based Moriyuki Ochiai Architects have designed a cluster of tea rooms located in a rural area known as Bisei, in the Okayama Prefecture. This town is known as both the place where green tea was introduced to Japan and as a "sanctuary for stargazing", which inspired the firm's design to create a strong connection between the tea rooms and the surrounding scenery.

A Studio Ghibli Theme Park is Coming to Japan in 2022

14:00 - 3 May, 2018
A Studio Ghibli Theme Park is Coming to Japan in 2022, The Big Ghibli Warehouse. Image Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture
The Big Ghibli Warehouse. Image Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture

A Studio Ghibli Theme Park is Coming to Japan in 2022. New images released by Studio Ghibli and Aichi Prefecture showcase the park themed around the Japanese animation film studio, best known for its anime feature films. Located on a 200-hectare area of land previously used to host the 2005 World’s Fair, the park seeks to “inherit the philosophy of the World Expo to the next generation,” with an emphasis placed on leisure, walking, and history.

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