Richard Meier completes first phase of Japanese residential skyscraper project

(Courtesy Kunihiko Ishijima, Ishiguro Photographic Institute via Richard Meier & Partners Architects)

(Courtesy Kunihiko Ishijima, Ishiguro Photographic Institute via Richard Meier & Partners Architects)

Construction recently wrapped on Richard Meier‘s first residential building in Japan—and with its white louvers and glassy facade, it sure has the architect’s trademark look. The 49-story, 883-unit building in Tokyo is the first piece of the Harumi Towers, a residential development that will include 1,744 apartments when the second tower opens next April.

Continue reading after the jump.

Wonders of the World: Ashikaga Park in Japan begets a fairytale dreamscape with thousands of dripping wisteria blooms

Ashikaga Park (Courtesy Sarah Sutter)

Ashikaga Park (Courtesy Sarah Sutter)

If marveling at Spring’s fledgling flora will usher in warmer weather quicker, here’s something to ogle. The wisteria blooms at world-famous Ashikaga Park, located 50 miles from Tokyo, Japan, gives New York City’s botanical garden a run for its money with its live hanging curtains of cascading petals that render a fairytale-like dreamscape.

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On View> Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Architecture, On View, West
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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(Hiroyasu Yamauchi)

(Hiroyasu Yamauchi)

Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake
MAK Center
835 North Kings Road
West Hollywood, California
Through January 4, 2015

The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 devastated the island nation, setting off a tsunami that destroyed over 300 miles of coastline, causing the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and leaving more than 20,000 people dead and 470,000 without homes. The severe damage from the catastrophe propelled architects to take action, swiftly and creatively, as illustrated in a new exhibit, Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Are We Done with Architecture Petitions Yet? Zaha Hadid Faces Tokyo Backlash

Speaking of controversy, Zaha Hadid can’t catch a break! Since her stadium design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was unveiled, complaints have arisen about the scale and height of the project. Then two of Japan’s biggest architects—Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki—signed on to a petition calling for a revised design. As of press time more than 26,500 people have signed on to protest the design. Is someone’s star beginning to dim?

On View> “On the Thresholds of Space-Making” at Washington University in St. Louis

Midwest, On View
Thursday, March 27, 2014
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Shinohara Kazuo, Great room (hiroma), House in White, Suginami Ward, Tokyo, 1964‐66. (Murai Osamu / Courtesy Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Shinohara Kazuo, Great room (hiroma), House in White, Suginami Ward, Tokyo, 1964‐66. (Murai Osamu / Courtesy Tokyo Institute of Technology)

On the Thresholds of Space-Making
Sam Fox School, Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, Missouri
Through April 20

The work of Shinohara Kazuo (1925–2006), one of Japan’s most influential architects of the postwar generation, is surveyed in On the Thresholds of Space-Making. Shinohara gained popularity as an architect with his series of sublime purist houses designed over a thirty-year period that went through the 1980s. Shinohara scrutinized and reframed fundamental architectural conventions, such as public/private, body/space, and openness/enclosure.

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Shigeru Ban’s Mt. Fuji Visitors Center Flips the Mountain Upside Down

Fujisan

(Courtesy Shigeru Ban Architects)

In the summer of 2013, Mt. Fuji was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The designation was of the cultural rather than the natural variety, in part because of the way the mountain has “inspired artists and poets.” Japanese architect Shigeru Ban plans to add a quite literal architectural chapter to this legacy of inspiration in the form of a visitor center commemorating the mountain’s recently-minted status.

More after the jump.

Out of Chaos, Japanese Designers Shape a Pop-Up Bar Made From Reed-Grass

Exterior view of Yoshi bar, courtesy Takeshi Asano

Exterior view of Yoshi bar, courtesy Takeshi Asano

Designer Naoya Matsumoto and her peers at Seian University of Art and Design have created a unique meeting space for students on the Japanese campus. Their creation, a pop-up bar, is created from six panels of locally-sourced reeds called Yoshi. The chaotic construction resembles a traditional gabled roof structure in abstract form. Each year, students of the design school are challenged to create objects from the Yoshi reeds which grow freely around Lake Biwa, an area close to the university campus.

Continue reading after the jump.

House K by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects Makes the Most of a Small Lot

International
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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House K (Courtesy 批给屋, Flickr)

House K (Courtesy 批给屋, Flickr)

Situated on the fringes of Tokyo’s dense urban fabric, House K—designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects—provides an innovative take on the traditional duplex home. The architects were posed with the challenge of creating a joint-living arrangement for two families on a very narrow piece of land. While the structure may look small and narrow from the outside, the thoughtful design demonstrates that a building’s allocated footprint need not be a limiting factor in achieving a feeling of wide, open spaces.

Continue reading after the jump.

Tokyo Store Changes with Fashion Trends

International
Friday, October 11, 2013
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Alexandre Herchcovitch Tokyo1

Alexandre Herchcovitch Tokyo (Courtesy Studio Arthur Casas)

Placed within Tokyo’s Daikanayama district, architect Arthur Casas has designed a flagship store to appear completely as an opaque box. As fashion trends change, so does the store’s appearance. The exterior walls boast a bold graphic design that will surely be swapped out for the next season’s trends.

Continue reading after the jump.

Culture at Risk: World Monuments Fund Watch List Includes Palisades, FLW’s Taliesin

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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According to the List, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin Is in Danger of Disrepair. (Courtesy Casey Eisenrich / Flickr)

According to the List, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin Is in Danger of Disrepair. (Courtesy Casey Eisenrich / Flickr)

The World Monuments Fund has announced its 2014 Watch List for cultural sites at risk by changes in economy, society, and politics within their respective countries and disrepair due to natural forces. For 2014, the Monument Watch List, compiled and released every two years since 1996, has cited 67 heritage risks in 41 countries and territories around the world. These sites range from Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1911-built Taliesin home in Wisconsin, submissive to elements of weathering, to the tree-lined Palisades cliffs in New York and New Jersey, jeopardized by corporate construction plans, to all of the cultural sites of Syria, risked by current war conflict.

View the gallery of highlights after the jump.

Japanese Artist Unzips Our Perception of Reality with New Installation

International
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
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Image via Spoon & Tamago

Image via Spoon & Tamago

Since long before Adolf Loos published his seminal Principles of Cladding, architects have pondered the relationship between the surfaces of our environment and the secrets that lie beneath them. With his new installation at the Rokko Meets Art festival in Japan, street artist Jun Kitagawa has playfully un-zipped our curiosity.

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Zaha Hadid Triumphs in New National Stadium Japan Competition

International
Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Zaha Hadid's winning stadium proposal. (Courtesy Japan Sport Council)

Zaha Hadid’s winning stadium proposal. (Courtesy Japan Sport Council)

Zaha Hadid wins again! Following a star-studded design competition, the Japanese Sports Council has announced Hadid as the winner of the New National Stadium in Japan, beating out Toyo Ito, SANAA, Populous, UN Studio among others and taking home a $250,000 prize. All-star designer of London’s 2012 Aquatics Center for the summer Olympics and the first female to ever win the Pritzker Architecture prize, Hadid continues her legacy with this new stadium in Tokyo. Estimated to cost around $1.6 billion, the venue will seat 80,000 visitors and sport a retractable roof.

Continue reading after the jump.

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