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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

Manhattan’s Japan Society Explores Artist Kazuko Miyamoto’s Relationship with her Studio Architecture

Recreating the artist studio in an exhibition has always been a challenge for curators and exhibition designers––bringing in the right amount of “mess,” intricately revealing the workings of artistry, and maintaining the visual coherence are all boxes to be checked while letting the audience behind the curtain. Kazuko Miyamoto: To perform a line, Japan Society’s survey of the artist’s five-decade career in sculpture, drawing, and performance solves this challenge in ways that are both practical and poetic.

How Lighting Evokes Emotion and Creates Atmospheres: A Focus on Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Le Corbusier once stated that “Light creates ambiance and feel of a place, as well as the expression of a structure.” Despite other external technicalities and design choices made within public spaces, such as the way the space is constructed and the use of color and materiality, these elements would essentially be rendered useless without the proper use of lighting.

Japan's Tallest Building by Pelli Clarke & Partners Tops Out

Pelli Clarke & Partners' A District tower, a 330-meter mixed-use high-rise in central Tokyo, has finally topped out to become the tallest building in the country. The tower is part of the Tora Asa urban village, which aims to "forge a city within the city" and revitalize Tokyo's city center. A District Tower will feature large-scale office spaces, residences, a school, a medical center, and retail facilities, along with vast green spaces on the ground floor.

Built to Not Last: The Japanese Trend of Replacing Homes Every 30 Years

In most countries around the world, value is placed on older buildings. There’s something about the history, originality, and charm of an older home that causes their value to sometimes be higher than newly constructed projects. But in Japan, the opposite is almost always the preference. Newly-built homes are the crux of a housing market where homes are almost never sold and the obsession with razing and rebuilding is as much a cultural thing as it is a safety concern, bringing 30-year-old homes to a valueless market.

Kisho Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower in Visually Captivating Film 'Kochuu'

‘’In the background there is still invisible Japanese tradition’’, expresses Kisho Kurokawa, in an excerpt from the film ‘Kochuu’. He puts an emphasis on Japanese tradition, an architectural tradition that rejects symmetry despite the utilization of high-tech. He contemplates the Nakagin capsule tower (1972) a mixed-use residential and office tower located in Tokyo, Japan. The first of capsule architecture built for practical and permanent use.

Sou Fujimoto Architects Reveals Design of Hida Furukawa Station in Japan

Sou Fujimoto Architects has unveiled its design for the Hida Furukawa Station Eastern Development, a regional community-based center that aims to enrich the life, leisure, and culture of the residents of Hida City, in Gifu Prefecture. The Center will include a university research base, student accommodation, an all-weather playing field, and commercial facilities, all interconnected to form one harmonious community.

New Exhibition Co-Curated by Kazuyo Sejima Explores the Art and Architecture Programme Reviving the Island of Inujima

A new exhibition at the Japan House in London explores the large-scale art and architecture project driving the transformation of the Japanese island of Inujima for the past 13 years. Titled Symbiosis: Living Island, the show co-curated by the project's artistic director Yūko Hasegawa and architect Kazuyo Sejima showcases how the innovative scheme of accessible art, pavilions and creative projects brought together artists and locals in the effort to revitalize and secure a future for this island in the Seto Inland Sea confronted with diminishing population. Running from 21 May to 4 September 2022, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey around the island that illustrates the transformative impact of the Inujima' Art House Project' through architectural models, photography, videos and testimonies of the residents.

Nakagin Capsule Tower to be Demolished Mid-April

Following months of uncertainties and preservation attempts, Kisho Kurokawa's iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower will be demolished on April 12th of this year. Tatsuyuki Maeda, one of the current owners of the tower, explained that a team will try to preserve some of the capsules, and regenerate them as accommodation units and museum installations across the world.

PLP Architecture Unveils Masterplan of Tokyo Cross Park Vision

PLP Architecture has unveiled plans for Tokyo Cross Park, an upcoming redevelopment of an entire district set to become the largest development site in the metropolitan area of Tokyo. The new 230-hectare "green heart of the city" will include four towers, two of which to be designed by PLP, a 31-metre-tall podium with an elevated green public realm, and a 2-hectare public plaza.

Has the Pandemic Halted the Road to Net-Zero Carbon?

With the magnitude and urgency of the immediate Covid-19 crisis worldwide, efforts have been concentrated on saving lives, rather than focusing on concerns related to the road to Net-zero carbon. Net Zero carbon in regards to construction is defined as when the amount of carbon emissions associated with the construction of a building and its completion is zero. A zero-energy building will have an overall zero net energy consumption; the total amount of energy used by the building annually is equal to the amount of renewable energy generated on-site.