Koizumi Showroom, by P.Eisenman, 1990


One more time I was surprised to find a building design by such a foreigner in many sense, here in Tokyo.

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Koizumi is a Japanese brand, now mainly known for lighting fixtures and the building could be its main office in Tokyo. There is a showroom at the ground and basement level. Unfortunately it was closed that day, probably a monday.

The building looked like it was freshly repainted.

Eisenmann is a strong Architectural theorician, the deconstructivist pioneer in USA, and notably one of the most known (Here the website page dedicated to this work) .

I stumbled upon Eisenman notably in two different ways, and surely not walking by those whereabouts. One was by studying the MOOC class, of Harward University on edx.org, still open, and free. It is worth noticing that the Harward architectural class is very close to philosophy more than they would admit.

The second time happened while I was reading a book written by an Italian researcher, Arturo Tedeschi, called Algorithm Aided Design, dedicated to Grasshopper. as pag 17, it shows an Eisenman diagram from House IV, Falls Village, Connecticut (1971).

The question is open, did Eisenman leave any traces in Tokyo but this building? Its diagrammatic style is nowadays presented in many architectural presentations (See BIG book hot to cold) nowadays.

Here they already changed the external color, in the previous bloggers there was a pink and blue sides that now are disappeared into a monotone white.

One day I have to write something about the emerging conflict between the lively colors and the current Japanese trend. Some in fact may wrongly think that the actual distaste to…. anything different than grey , belongs to the Japanese culture.

Far from there the true stands.

Speaking about grey, interesting enough to report. it is the contrast of Architecture positions between Eisenmann and the Swiss, P.Zumthor which is considered as well as the american, a master in its own role. Eisenmann declares he is not interested in details, and to exemplifies what are they details for him, he points to the work of mr.Zumthor.

More than that, between 1966 and 1972, abstraction went out, he says with regret in this 2015 University lecture.

By far the most evocative and successful work of mr. Eisenmann is the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, which is totally grey…!

Yep, it is another architectural short circuit.

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Kotoriku, Akihisa Hirata Architects,


IMGP0452Undoubtedly, here we are in front of a new invention about the use of the concrete, which means a lot.

The location is in a high profile area of Tokyo, called meguro-ku and going there we have seen so many villas as never before. It is a bulding for apartment in a japanese style which means for Us, westerns, small and often low (see the floor plans here for specific areas numbers). This particular case has probably faced many restrictions since counterceilings are absent and on the top of your head there is a particular concrete which resembles the one visible from this picture. Here below the assays of the dye before they decide.

IMGP0469It was a specific open day, a sort of vernissage, open house is called here in Tokyo after USA style I believe, thus there were more young architects than real customers.

An apartment was used for the explanation of the design process which took two years, and the exhibition of the modelling which is a sort of thing that mr.Hirataand his teammates are really good at.

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The floor you can see is wood made, protected by a rough white hue.  Here is another blog with better pictures than mine.

My unrequested suggestion is to be a bit more misterious about the process. For instance this concrete is really good. Maybe it is not so evident and clear how to reproduce as it seems, I would rather to hide the secret ot the making instead of expose it. Maybe somebody else would claim the copyright one day!

If you like to know more about the concept ofMr.Hirata, he pulbished a book called Tangling, written in japanese and English (the amazon link It is not a book for everybody, Leibniz and Newton are juxtapposed for instance.).

Also here a dense article that summarize his approach.

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