The “alternative modernism” by Taro Igarashi

[But both Hirata and Fujimoto adopted approaches that deviate from those of their peers only a few years their senior. Hirata, whose interests lie in natural forms, has sought new architectural possibilities in convoluted structures and twisted spatial topologies. It was Hirata, who, while working in Ito’s office, came up with the foundational idea for the National Taichung Theater. Fujimoto, by contrast, creates incredibly original architecture without reference to difficult philosophical ideas or contemporary art, and through operations so simple they conjure the apocryphal egg of Columbus. As if to restart the history of architecture from its origins, Fujimoto is reconstituting the coordinate field on which all geometries are established.

If we may generalize that geometry gives order to architectural through perpendicula angles and parallel lines, then a new geometry for architecture might be simple at the same time that is capable of rendering complex and multifaceted spaces. This idea of a new geometry is one of the characteristics of alternative modernism] pg. 192

Really this post is meant to point out another book, precise the collection of an exhibition at the MOMA in New York. The tile was A japanese Constellation , curated by Pedro Gadanaho (2016). The book should be on sale online as usual. The Japanese architects showcase list is: Toyo Ito, Kazuo Sejima,  SANAA, Ryue Nishizawa, Sou Foujimoto, Akihisa Hirata, Junya Ishigami.

The book contains a selected series of picture from works from the above plus some light essays to link the whole, and to justify the choices. I imagine that Japanese contemporary architects who are not there would be furious! So they have to work even more to demonstrate their value. (Notably I name mr. Hiroshi Sambuichi who has been lately on many reviews here in Japan, but since he has not his studio set in Tokyo, he may been discarded by the capital snobbery).

The interesting point is the essay by Igarashi, who refers to himself when he wrote, back in 2005, the book: The alternative modern ( Tokyo, TN Probe). The incipt of this post comes from his writing on the Constellation book. The writing is a really good summary of the careers of that list of architects.

{by reading that I am still bestoned by the mistery of mr. Makoto Sei Watanabe: did he have some influence, or He did something to be considered a Japanese traitor since He is always set apart, away from any other? Are there out there some of his disciples working somewhere or they are just mangaka? }


History of Architecture in one man, over 90 years old

I discovered this interview with Yona Friedman, and he tell his story that has some links with the book of Arata Isozaki, a historical connection with the dutch Hertzenberger. and some affinities with contemporary postmodernism freedom. Overall is a good way to contextualize the few incipits . and why they were few, that Japanese centralized system had to carry on until 1965, and their future conquered adult architecture life.

A 37 minute interview, slow pace, with a difficult English accent, beside that it is really Amazing. I am sorry if you cannot get the relationship, it is not explicit, you have to know some of the History behind it to get it. It goes into the Japanese debate about National Architecture, their stubborness, the metabolistes. How Tange recognized his influences. This come almost last in the video interview below.



At the end one should explain why the Australian Mercutt got a Pritzker Prize and not this guy, just because he does not speak with a good English accent? Cheers.