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.
Posts Tagged ‘Japanese design’
More houses by Paul Rudolph. I’m not sure why I like him so much; maybe it’s the feeling that every space is designed for a party, or the use of white, or that he went so glam/space age in the 60s and 70s. I like all the low Japanese-style seating, often set in one-step-deep conversation pits.
The photo above shows the central living area of a rural farmhouse on the border of Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures. The house was restored by Kenji Tsuchisawa who bought it as a rundown heap when he was only 20, after seeing a photograph of a traditional Japanese farmhouse on a Tokyo magazine cover.
The bottom photo shows a functioning scarecrows made of indigo-dyed hemp. The original book caption reads “The bold design of this piece of shibori-dyed hemp by Seizo Ishikawa, a farmer, seems at home working as a scarecrow by a newly harvested rice field.” The birds in Japan must have been accustomed to seeing farmers in real Japanese indigo yukatas, waving their arms.
Flickr photos by Ken McCown, a designer and professor of architecture and landscape design. This is a beautiful Japanese-influenced guest house by architect Paul Hayden Kirk (1914-1995) at the Bloedel Reserve in Seattle. It seems to be halfway between a Case Study house and a traditional Japanese farmhouse.
In the western world, 750 sq ft apartments can seem really small, even for just two people. The excerpt below is from an interesting article by Nold Egenter, a Swiss architectural anthropologist, on the cultural influences that allow the Japanese to live comfortably in what North Americans would consider small spaces.