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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Baker’s Dozen: 13 Sweet Projects Filled with Delight

Few architectural typologies are as timeless as bakeries. A practice spanning thousands of years, the art of baking has diverse roots. Today, bakeries combine areas to gather, socialize, shop, and work. While industrialization and commercialization transformed the art of baking and baked goods, bakeries remain important community spaces for gathering and defining neighborhood identity.

Sou Fujimoto Reveals Design for Torch Tower in Tokyo, Japan

Sou Fujimoto Architects has unveiled its design for the top part of the tallest skyscraper in Japan “Torch Tower” in Tokyo, collaborating mainly with Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei, Inc. Standing tall at 390m, the highrise building planned to be ready by 2028, takes on a large plaza at around 300m, generating a space for people.

A' Design Awards Announce World Design Rankings 2020

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The A’ Design Award is an international award whose aim is to provide designers, architects, and innovators from all design fields with a competitive platform to showcase their work and products to a global audience. Among the design world's many awards, the A' Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale and breadth, including over 100 award categories and having honored over 12,000 designers with an award over its 11-year lifetime.

ArchDaily Selects the Best Young Practices of 2020

ArchDaily is proud to announce the 2020 Young Practices selection. This premier edition highlights emerging offices that are providing innovative approaches, proposals, and solutions to some of the main challenges Humankind is facing right now. From climate crisis to racial and gender issues. From technological disruption to social cohesion. These challenges are shaping the evolution of architecture, leading the discipline towards a new society and a new economy.

'Shofuso and Modernism' Revisits a Major Mid-Century East-West Cultural Exchange

In June 1954, an article published in House & Home magazine read, “The Japanese had some of our best ideas—300 years ago.” The piece highlighted three main attributes of Kyoto’s Katsura Imperial Villa, built in the 1620s: the open post-and-beam plan, the use of verandas for climate control, and its modularity based on tatami mats and shoji screens.

Beka & Lemoine’s Latest Film "Tokyo Ride" Features Pritzker Prize Winner Ryue Nishizawa

Questioning “how rooted architecture practice is and how much the built and cultural environment feeds and shapes our imagination”, Beka & Lemoine’s latest film follows one of the most celebrated Japanese architects of our times, Ryue Nishizawa in his vintage Alfa Romeo (Giulia) as he wanders in the streets of Tokyo. After winning the prestigious DocAviv 2020, the black and white documentary Tokyo Ride will soon première in many major architecture film festivals both in Europe and in North America.

Finalists Released for Asian Edition of YTAA 2020

The Fundació Mies van der Rohe and Creative Europe have announced the 9 finalist projects competing to win the Asian Edition of Young Talent Architecture Award 2020 (YTAA 2020). Established in 2016, the YTAA “supports the talent of recently graduated Architects, Urban Planners and Landscape Architects who will be responsible for transforming our environment in the future."

Fill in the Gaps: Infill Architecture in Urban Residual Spaces

In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space.

No More Room for the Living or the Dead: Exploring the Future for Burials in Asia

In some of the most dense cities around the world, it’s becoming an increasing challenge to find a comfortable space to live- and similar for when you die, too. It’s estimated that 55 million people pass away each year, and for every one living person today, there are 15 times the number of deceased. Yet urban planners and architectural developers are more interested in dealing with the living than dabbling in the business of death. As a result, it’s created tension in the two parallel worlds- and as time goes on, more questions are being raised about how we address public space that can be designed so that both the living and the dead can coexist.

Short Film Explores the Standardization of Traditional Japanese Housing in Osaka

Created by Japanese architectural historian Norihito Nakatani, the film "A City of Columns" explores the distinctive dwelling culture of nagaya, a housing typology that flourished in the Japanese early modern period. The video depicts one of the few remaining nagaya neighbourhoods in Osaka, revealing the standardization embedded in all aspects of this form of housing and documenting how architectural elements transition between different spatial configurations.

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