A wind Tunnel that says a lot

I do not own the pictures so we need to share the click below in Japanese of the Wind Tunnel


Recently, coming back to Italy I was reorganizing my experience to present myself on the market and watching a TV program I remembered a project that was left out of my portfolio, almost forgotten.

So I put inside because it makes a visible impact.

Despite that, and the success that may or may not produce it gives me a hint to dive into one little detail that speaks loud.

The company is a big one, Taisei Corporation, on of the 5 bones of the Construction Industry of the Japan, not only as a State, nation, population culture, but also Japan as Asian Leader in Technology and World leader in industry, that what Taisei means. That is why this post is somehow relevant.

The 5 Companies, largely subsided by public biddings, had to abandon the use of wood in their project for almost a century. Wood was banished by Law from any Public building in Japan forever, and I suspect this happened at least from WWII end or even before that maybe after the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. Steel and concrete overall were ruling, stones were the outfit with obviously glass, perhaps if one can have a balance of all these manifactured built and one can add the components of the overall to make a sum, those 4 materials will compose the 90% of the Weight.

The remarkable project that open the post is coming to this “sustainable wave era” where wood has been surfaced. Even if it is not a public building but a private Facility, the same building, projected 10 years before would probably not even considered wood among the realm of possibilities. CLT panels are the solution adopted . The explanation in Japanese says that domestic cedar wood has been used. It explains the reason for horizontal forces and so on (if you try to play the video it won’t work), but we know for sure that in reality the steel used at the bottom, floor level is unnecessary. It could have been done all in wood and I suspect the bolt suspended fixed by steel, could have been resolved in a different way.

Why they did not consider it? The answer is in the History above. They gone too far and now they cannot see anymore what they have too close.

The internal Hell machine that push the wind is another matter….

Positive Olympic Effect, Hareza, Animate Cafe, Higashi Ikebukuro; by Kajima Achitect; 鹿島建設株式会社,

Despite the postponed Olympic event, the preparation has produced a general improvement for public spaces that

could not been possible without the Olympic Games as a desired guest in Tokyo. One, among hundreds, is in this square of Higashi Ikebukuro where the main trade is about anime world. Probably is one of the capital centre in the whole world for people who likes this hobby and all sort of things surrounding merchandise. I am not expert neither interest as you may have guessed.

Here they did this cafe front square with a centered unique design. I think the proposal fit the atmosphere.

Animate Cafe




Saturday afternoon the square is plenty of young and teenagers who are commercialing freely their goods, caards, games and so on.

Kajima Inc. has realized a massive Urban Development surrounding the plaza; where a tower; a theatre Hall and many Other spaces are born from almost nothing. I have seen even the Tokyo mayor paying visit to one of these one day.

There is free dowanloadable pdf that describe the project here, recently finished; I would say late 2019.

Kajima is one of the mayor Construction Company of Japan; their website here.

The square is called Park, 豊島区中立池袋公園, it is called c



NICHES in TOKYO land urban landscape 23 wards

I always pass running in front of this little Jinjia and I never noticed since last Sunday I walked instead of run…It was there between 2 properties, probably been there long ago as it is marked with such a respectful vertical column sing. What do you think, is that column appropriate ?

Yoshimoto Mugendai Hall (2006), by …

The infinity narrated by Japanese narrow streets of Shibuya.

Mugendai means “infinity” in Japanese and the symbol ∞, often replaces the word itself in casual Japanese writing.


Some interiors here. from Takagi Planning Office.

Also called Shibuya Beam Hall other pictures at ACT planning, here.

It reminds me some Works of Shin Takamatsu, and it is essentially Japanese Architecture between Fantasy Manga and reality.

Official Page, here.

It is a Performing Art Center, or a Theatre. Wikipedia says.


Probably the architects are named Workshop, here their website.

RCR architects, exhibition in Tokyo until 24 March, 2019, 2 of 2 post. review.

So After I went I re-write a review.

It is free, no ticket. It is in the TOTO Gallery located in the heart of ART and DESIGN area, near Roppongi, TOKYO Midtown.

Great first floor, a lot of not demanding pieces. On the second floor a video of their travel to Nara, and the purpose of which it may be the pavillion they created, paper pavillion whose model can be seen at 1st floor. 24 minutes of video that were too long, almost fell asleep. 5 minutes with some editing would have worked much better. I am sorry we are in Tokyo, not Catalunya here.

On the balcony the weak point of the exhibition, a piece of beams and truss to represent the Japanese wooden craft. Unfortunately RCR architects knowledge of wooden structure seems to be too basic to be exhibited or probably I did not see the connection with their works or…what else? Do they want to persuade Japanese customers to create for them?

Luckily the TOTO Gallery curators have disseminated the glazed window benches with well done books from el croquis (at least a couple) thus anybody can grasp the range of their works along 30 years. Some questions arise. Corten and surroundings spaces sometimes match perfectly like in the vinery or in the athletic field. Sometimes it looks like a forced choice and a different option had may fit better their purpose. Secondly, in a metropolitan are such Tokyo, where a house has a 25-30 life span and a shop less, say from 6 to 15 months, a Corten surface that looks old since the beginning, because rust is immediately linked with passed time, how can Japanese really appreciate their work? Usually an average Japanese wants everything new, old is negative by default.

Now a video of them talking about materials:

here when they joyful hurra!

RCR architects, exhibition in Tokyo until 24 March, 2019, 1 of 2.

These days in Tokyo, a small gallery for little architectural presentations the recipient of Pritzker 2017 , GA Gallery. Architecture are on exhibition with their dreams. Nothing could be far than Tokyo reality with their gigantic firms and developers than them. Nothing could be farest from Tokyo than these dreamers from a 34.000 people, village in Spain. In Tokyo, among the 24 inner cities, arroundissments, or districts or simple wards (KU in Japanese), I do no think there is one with less than 300.000 people.

Despite that, when I saw this specific site, GRIN, I had this idea to relate to them. Especially when I go to train myself on Saturday morning in a athletic field of the suburban areas. It is located in a park and it has something unusual, at least for an European. There are no running tracks, like the usual 8, it is just one and the ground of the field is made by small pieces gravel. Here also many football fields (I mean the European football, called soccer in US) have no grass so on this side no surprise. I found it very nice, the only con is that the day after the rain is not possible to run there, and after a snow it may have to pass a whole week to get in. It is public and that leads to sort of minimal maintenance with some wild spots who are escaping the guardian attention. Also in the track border row of high deciduous leaves trees limits the sight.

On the other side, the RCR guys, grossly get the prize for the use of Corten, as I imagine the material has been spread after their successful use in several projects. Even in a small village near by my hometown in Italy, Corten has been used by local architects for an exterior wall. Surely the Japanese, with their love for new things and sparkly Asian surfaces will not chase something that it is look like old since the beginning, an anti-Japanese excellent taste. On the other side they like variations, randomly variations on surface. The uttermost fetishists of wood veining are living here, in the most sophisticated space and luxury apartments. In this respect the unforeseeable rust design that Corten sports on view may have some appeal in Japanese beauty constellation of peeks and valleys.


Asakusa matsuri

This year I was lucky, I was invited from a fellow to attend the Asakusa Festival (Matsuri) in one home whom owner was an old citizen of the Area, thus we had great time from the “inside”, instead of being just tourists.


I discovered the honor of begin part of the group of people who can hold the Mikoshi from the street and the fight to be one of them. In the picture you see some kids are playing the big central drum standing while being carried on a small car and pushed with a wood control pole.  On both sides of the car two long white and red stripe rope are also pushing the car. This is the smaller size of kids matsuri.

It was last Spring/Summer. Streets are closed and controlled that day, and it gets crowded soon. Nights are devoted to large drinking party. Those people below are not going to come home wealthy as they left home.


While walking toward the gathering place it was nice to see the mixed Urban environment of the District, which is unique in Tokyo. Probably the oldest one and some old typical old  Construction is still alive other than the temples. This below is a public bath place, not so old, but a traditional roof.




Japanese architects abroad

Dear reader,

this should be a list of Japanese Architects who have their own office established abroad. It does not matter if they are super famous or just leading an office of two or three people, I encourage to comment on this and add names and web pages. Only those who stands with their own name, they witness there is a life outside of Japan. Not associated, second in chief for those one I would add a different post.

  • Toshihiro Oki, Long Island, New York, USA here.
  • Ren Ito, a Japanese architect based on Porto, Portugal, here.
  • Junko Kirimoto, with Massimo Alvisi, in Rome, Italy, here.
  • Takayuki Murakami, Kajika Architecture, in Salt lace City, Utah, USA , here
  • Miyako Nairz, she is in Vienna, here.
  • Ruy Ohtake is brazilian (born in 1938) but since he comes from the Japanese diaspora, Sao Paolo, here an interview on designboom.






the underground path to the emperor Palace

I thought it would be nice to visit again the East garden of the emperor Palace in Tokyo. On my way to exit 13b of Ootemachi station wihch is poorest signaled coming from Marounochi line, I noticed quite renovation ongoing, probably following the Tokyo station mayor works.

The path and the quality of work was on primary level, probably work of major Japanese Companies who are tangled with landlords over there (Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei?).


On the right the stone, granite, is alternated on smooth and natural surface.

I underlined graphically the rhythm the path with thin red lines.

On the left, I used the blue thin lines, the different scheme of advertising screens. To note the refined touch on the ceiling where the two paths are detached and do not join each others.

At the end of the path, a nice full crystal elevator was an option to raise to the street level.