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.”
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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.
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.
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. 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.
I happened to be in architecture school when the laser cutter was still a bit of a novelty for the inexperienced students in their first years of study. Sure, it saved you a lot up-close-and-personal-time with the X-Acto knife, but to unlock the true potential of the laser cutter one had to introduce a level of detail into the design or model that would otherwise be a nightmare to create by hand.
Timber tower construction is the current obsession of architects, with new projects claiming to be the world’s next tallest popping up all over the globe. But this latest proposal from Japanese company Sumitomo Forestry Co. and architects Nikken Sekkei would blow everything else out of the water, as they have announced plans for the world’s first supertall wood structured skyscraper in Tokyo.
When looking back on the rich history of Japanese architecture, some of the things that immediately come to mind are complex wood joinery, hipped roofs and intimate experiences with water. Today, Japan is on the cutting edge of architectural innovation in many different buildling types—skyscrapers, office buildings and micro-housing to name a few. However, this Instagram account chooses to highlight an extremely unappreciated building type—public restrooms.
Architect and Project Professor at The University of Tokyo, Fumio Matsumoto put together more than 30 iconic buildings into a single 3D printed object called, “Memories of Architecture.” Façades, exterior forms, interior spaces, and structures of significant architectural works were reproduced at 1:300 scale and merged together in order from old to new.
In this extended interview from the Louisiana Channel, Japanese architect and experimentalist in sustainable architecture Hiroshi Sambuichi explains how he integrates natural moving materials—sun, water and air—into his architecture. A rare symbiosis of science and nature, each of his buildings are specific to the site and focus on the best orientation and form to harness the power of Earth’s energy, particularly wind. Two of his projects displayed in the video, the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum and the Orizuru Tower, force a contraction of air to make it flow faster and circulate with you through the building, while the Naoshima Hall takes a more sensitive approach due to the nature of the building, reducing the wind’s velocity as it passes.
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