miércoles, 18 de diciembre de 2013

Best of 2013 #6: Architecture

PingMag : Art, Design, Life - from Japan

Look around you and what do you see? There is no shortage of buildings and infrastructure in Japan, and this makes the country a very fertile breeding ground for some of the best architecture in the world.We asked writer and filmmaker Roland Hagenberg, author of several books about Japanese architecture, for his selections of interesting developments in the field in 2013. What were the ten architectural projects that made the biggest impression on you in 2013?Storkhouse by Terunobu FujimoriPhoto: Philipp KreidlThe architect designed a small guesthouse at the birthplace of composer Franz Liszt in Austria not only for humans but also for storks. It combines attributes such as dreamy, hand-made, cozy, funny, comfortable, modern, natural and traditional. That storks really came to nest on top of a building conceived in advance for migratory birds is a miracle and a feast that few modern architects will ever match.Satoyama 10 in NiigataToru Iwasa. Photo: Roland HagenbergInterior designer and entrepreneur Toru Iwasa discovered a dilapidated 150-year-old farmhouse in the Japanese countryside in 2012. Within a year he managed to restore the precious wooden structure and turned it into a stylish hot spring resort. If more developers would think like Iwasa, more historical buildings could be saved in Japan.Garden and House by Ryue NishizawaPhoto: Roland HagenbergThis is one of the purest of Tokyo buildings because it appears so stubborn. It is the five-floor-residence Garden and House by Ryue Nishizawa, which squeezes into a four-meter-skyscraper-lot near Hachobori station. Plants serve as curtains and walls are almost missing.Slavoj ZizekWatch the Slovenian philosopher on YouTube and you get charmed by his reasoning (or mad by his nervous tic). Nothing is spared by his logic, including architecture and design: ?In the Japanese toilet your shit falls directly into the water and disappears,? explains Zizek. ?In the German toilet it drops on a plate, where you can observe it, before you flush. What does this say about designers??Kishin-en Park by Yoshiki TodaLandscape designer Yoshiki Toda had thousands of rocks hauled through Tokyo to create Kishin-en, a park in Futakotamaga. The massive blocks are seemingly arranged at random but not really. Toda selected positions and orientations individually. A lecturer at Tokyo University of Agriculture since 1996, he was also the Landscape Director for the Expo in Nagano. Kishin-en opened in April 2013.AmaPhoto: Eishin OsakiThe pearl-diving ladies were once the romanticized beauty queens of Japan: Their bare-breasted bodies epitomizing the perfect architecture of the human body sculpted by nature. Diving ten meters and deeper, keeping their breath three minutes and longer, there are only a few ama left today, and they are old. But a revival is on its way, with young Japanese girls making ama diving their hobby albeit with modern swimsuits.All architects engaged in rebuilding FukushimaArata Isozaki, Toyo Ito, Yasuhiro Yamashita, Hiroshi Naito and many more renowned designers came up with solutions to ease the burden on victims of the Fukushima disaster.Camel WhiteIn August 2013 Camel White arrived in Japan. The minimalistic cigarette box looks like an architecture model. The camel is embossed, the edges are shaved off, and that?s it the most beautiful package for an addictive substance that I have held in my hands for a long time. And it could be turned into a skyscraper too.Yasuhiro YamashitaWith the economy still in the doldrums, architect Yamashita has shown that to build as inexpensive as possible does not exclude exquisite design. When meeting clients, bringing down cost is at the top of his list.All those who reject Zaha Hadid?s Tokyo Olympic stadium for 2020Why on earth did a Japanese committee select a Bagdhad-born architect to design for the Tokyo Olympics? Japan has enough good designers of its own.Thank you, Roland Hagenberg!Writer, photographer and film maker Roland Hagenberg grew up in Vienna, Austria. He currently lives and works in Tokyo. His essays, travel reports, stories and photographs are published in magazines such as Vogue and Architectural Digest.http://hagenberg.com



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