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.


a nice facade for a Hospital, Kagayaki Plaza, by Kume Sekkei (久米設計)

kagayaki Hospital

finished in 2013, according to this article, during the Sakura week I was walking nearby.

It is interesting that with the Sakura excuse I was able to go in places where otherwise I would never step. This road was near the Budokan but just a turn that I never took before. (here the address 九段南1-6-10)

There was even a free shuttle to assist tourists…

and you know what, for the first time the people who tried to pass the lines were not Italians…I bet you know where they were from!


Architecture and Structuralism: the ordering of Space, Herman Hertzberger, Rotterdam, 2015, a review

The writer is also a University teacher (Delft  University) and an active architect (I am not sure he is still teaching though). He is over 8o. I found his name trough a recent project, and I decided to follow the path to see where it leads…

Totally amazed of the intensity of his thoughts, and sometimes in a full time agreement with his teories.

The book chapters, as to say index, is already a recension as reading carefully the titles one can imagine the content. The titles tell us a lot.


Structuralism and Architecture,

Open versus Closed Structures

The collective character of Structure


Architecture`s Unconscious Programme

Generic, Specific, and Polyvalent


Building Order

Construction Kits


Work in progress


Where I am totally in sintony:

“Innovations in architecture are not necessarily improvements but essentially are shifts in emphasis and, therefore, attention,. Besides changes that are difficult to explain there are constants that are equally inexplicable, such as the seemingly indestructible classicism. We see it cropping up wherever there is a need to express certainty , solidity, status and power, in one or other from remotely derived from Classical Antiquity with the quite arbitrary pretention of having eternal value. For the record, the basis of other styles of architecture as well as other collective modes of construction, whether or not religiously inspired,culturally determined or otherwisecommunally driven, generally speaking is every bit as arbitrary”[pg.186]

Also the chapter dedicated to Sustainability unveil some fictitious value related to green, and its prophets. It is truly a fervent pamphlet about the amount of lies that the term has been crammed.

Some chapters mark the link between his group origins, team 10, and the japanese metabolist movement of the sixties. The main value of his theory is how to design and address the space in between the pubblic and the private. A very soften regard leads the reader to understand why some choices are better than others. I would give 5 start just for this unique splendid and fully supported explanation.

The thoughts are explained to such a greater number of examples from the romans to Arles, the city of Lucca, Le Corbusier, and his mentor mr.Aldo Van Eyck another dutch architect that is convincing. Often Le Corbusier is cited both in positive and critic way. Structuralism has an interesting story that officially began with a scism inside the Functionalism, in 1959.

He may had not yet win the pritzker prize, but he does not need it.



Milan, Italy-Torre Arcobaleno

Since the Architectural company has offices and clients not only in Italy but also in Kyoto,

I love to share their video about a renovation of a small tower in Milan, very effective.

Here is the video.

Rainbow Tower from Point of View on Vimeo.


The Chidorigafuchi Grand Park House、 Mitsubishi Jimu Sekkei

ChidorigaFuchi Grand park house

It was adiacent to the sakura walking we did on  the first weekend of April.  It was clear enough, by the the finishing and the detailing marble, that was something for wealthy people or for, maybe ,diplomatic personnel, giving also the location not far from some Political Centres, as well the National Cemetery and the Imperial Palace.

When I looked for the architectural design thus I was not surprised to register the name of Mitsubishi Jimu Sekkei than I am starting to notice as an high valuable office, rather classic though. The building seems to be quite new, this article by the Asahi Shimbun, says 2015. On the other hand it looks also as a Bank investment with all the inferences ons One could do about the real estate property values History in Tokyo and world wide…

If you want inquiry for renting a flat , there, here the link.

I appreciated the most, the under stament and the stern decisive design.IMGP6668


Miu Miu, Miyuki Street (Omotesando), by Herzog de Meuron

20160312_170000My wife asked me: but what is it?

After waking around, help me taking some pictures she could not see the sense of the whole design. That is why I have chosen this shot. I imagine you have already seen the pictures of this new shop for Miu Miu, which is a brand for costume jewelry handbags, shoes and whatever women desire.

When the shop opened, probably late 2015, pictures were bouncing on the web like ping pong balls. They have a very good Public Relation Office indeed.

In case you missed here the exact spot on google maps, already, visible.

To me it is something like a giant handbag, that is why the exterior front facade is just one piece, like a folding part of any bag. The interior skin is unique, like the leather, a vintage , a brocade archdaily call it. To those who are not familiar with the Tokyo inner topography, it is worth notice that the store is just in front of the Prada, from the same designer and belonging to the same owner.

Also Takenaka Corporation is confirming itself as a leader when it comes to build sophisticated projects.

Dezeen also wrote about it.

Design Boom also, il Sole24OreArchitect magazineWallpaper, urdesign,

the most interesting post is from the London design journal as it has some contest and original observation about it.

I feel like this post is redundant to the whole world wide web. My shot is not needed my words neither, perdon me I was just walking there going towar the Nezu museum which I found closing at 17.30…next time.

The official architecture firm web site.


Urban Research, by Kleim Ditham, March 2015- Harajuku-Shibuya-Omotesando

The store I wanted to post is here.

The Dytham family web site instead is here.

So this post is without picture since It seems I finished the space on this blog, Will be the last?


In the meantime I decided to switch to japanese and take this as a benchmark.

For those of you who doesn`t read japanese at all…I am sorry the story ends here.

For those who wants to keep watching pictures of Tokyo, here it goes the link in japanese, hosted by wordpress again.

First post I wrote was about a museum, designed by Nihon Sekkei, (which means japanese architectture….what lack of fantasy for naming a company!) a week or so ago.

Yes japanese sometimes call things without a title.

Many times I asked my wife, how this recipe is it called, and replies were like this:

“meat and potato”, “fish and salt”, “eggs and bread”….

Would you compare those title to the Italians names such as “Spaghetti alla carbonara”, or “Lasagna”, or “Coniglio alla cacciatora”…it is not just the taste of the food. Japanese dishes could be delicious as the Italian ones. It is that we like telling stories.

When a plate has a made up title, it contains already a story…why that title you ask yourself? And you already get caught in the spirit of the Italia Cuisine…because an Italian would immediately become happy to start a conversation even if he doesn`t know why that is called Lasagna…because that let us be social which means for Us debate, deny, oppose, agree, love and hate.

We don`t call our dishes in such ways…japanese simply don`t have that.

My japanese writing would be even worst than my english I am sure about it, however it has to be a way to improve it, the only sure way is doing it…a big Hug to those of the 87 architecture lovers are currently following this blog I am to lose!!! See you! It is plenty of english writing about Japanese architecture.

Some books I am to read are:

Kevin Nute, a professor from Oregon, wrote : Place Time and Being in Japanese Architecture

Azby Brown, an associate Professor of Architecture at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, wrote a book about the reconstruction of ancient japanese Temple in Nara, The genius of Japanese Architecture. (1995)

for Wood cratft Lovers, there is a precious handbook, by Christopher Schwarz, the Workbench design book: The Art & Philosophy of building better benches.

The ancient Conder`s book, republished in 2002, Landscape Gardening in Japan, is still a good and fashinating read.

If you read French, you`ll be happy to read about the Metabolism, in a book wrote by Charles Jencks, an architecture`s critics,

called Mouvements modernes en architecture…a bit old, no doubt you can find something else in English, but I doubt you`ll find something with that touch.

Within the pages of book written by Koolhaus or Deplazes are cool insights about the japanese contemporaries, their gold and dark sides. Be sure to read only Koolhaus and not listen him as his English speaking is worst than mine…