Posts Tagged ‘Japanese architecture’

In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Essay below reprinted from In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki (Leete’s Island Books, 1977)

What incredible pains the fancier of traditional architecture must take when he sets out to build a house in pure Japanese style, striving somehow to make electric wires, gas pipes, and water lines harmonize with the austerity of Japanese rooms—even someone who has never built a house for himself must sense this when he visits a teahouse, a restaurant, or an inn.

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Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Finland

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Finland, built between 1937 and 1939 as a rural retreat, is considered one of the greatest houses of the 20th century. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who curated a major retrospective of Aalto’s work at the Barbican in London in 2007, says photographs give no real sense of Aalto’s buildings.

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Terunobu Fujimori, Japanese architecture historian turned architect

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Terunobu Fujimori has been called the world’s only “surreal architect.” Obviously this is false, but there is a fantastical quality about his work that isn’t typical among architects, even when they’re trying for the new, strange or sci-fi. Fujimori is interesting because his fantasy has a down-to-earth, muted folktale-like quality without straying into gimmicks or kitsch.

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Tetsu Teahouse in Japan, by Terunobu Fujimori

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Minimalism and fantasy, together. The interior of this teahouse is simple and modern, while the fantastical exterior looks like something from a Hiyao Miyazaki film. The interior view of the sliding wooden doors or shutters is just beautiful. The building is a Japanese teahouse by Terunobu Fujimori, who represented Japan at the Venice Biennale, in Yamanashi Prefecture.

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