Hot to Cold , a recension

These guys, BIG, are a successful danish firm around the world. They are positive, and energetic, and most important they are winning competitions, which also means in our competitive world: many are losing against them in persuading customers.

The book, I just finished to read is a well explained showcase of their work. On youtube you can see their leader, Bjarke Ingels, talking about different projects , and you may want to save the money for the book. Also another interesting video about the latest tower in New York interviewed by a mayor American Channel streaming and other videos are pretty much covering their ideas in full length.

I liked the book for different reasons:

  1. It could be used as a handbook for visual presentation for University Students
  2. It shows how they did not waste their efforts, re-selling the concepts and adapting them to different customers
  3. It is an hymn to brave ideas.
  4. It is also shows how things can go wrong for great designers and that anybody should know that is the part of the job

On the Washington project (the buried museum on the mall) I have found emerging similarities with a Japanese leader architect mind, called Makoto Sei Watanabe, in his conceptual proposal, dated 2009 called ribbons. (From his official website there is also a wonderful video hidden on youtube)

This the main reason why I posting this on my blog. The Washington BIG project present an entrance create under a ribbon (some American may prefer canopy, or a series of canopies) and I see this concepts emerging more often that not, thus for the first time I will conclude this with a challenge to the reader and to myself.

In your next proposal whether a competition or a affluent client, try to design a ribbon, it might leverage your percentage of approval!



K-Museum, by Makoto Sei Watanabe, 1996 located in Odaiba, (Tokyo) train station Tokyo teleport. 3-1 Ariake, Koto-ku

IMGP2700The day I took the pictures it was a cloudy one, please accept my apologies for the poor sharpness of this post. To get more nice view of this art piece

I post below a list of well referenced articles about it. It had to be said since the design beauty is halved by the absence of sun reflexions on the refelecting surfaces.

Firstly let me point out that there are only few works visible in Tokyo by this firm. (here their official web site). Even this one, you are unlikely to find walking by a common or regular walk within one of the tokyo districts. It is in Odaiba which is must be considered a sort of a-side from Tokyo. After 3 years of living in Tokyo I would try to define Odaiba as the place where you go for spending a whole day during the weekend with your family to breath a bit of fresh air: an open space toward the bay.

Even though, you are not going to see this place. It is hidden by a sided gigantic brigde patwhay that connect the Tokyo teleport station surrounding Area with the International Exhibition Center station. 95 per cent of the time you will visit just one of these two spots and unless you are going there for sports aims, for instance running, you are not crossing that bridge.

A question also will surge, is it really a museum? There is no entrance (?). The wired fences shows signs of don`t get in, it is forbidden to get in. The funny thing is that it has the impression of something alive since a loud sound of waterfalls comes out.

A japanese blogger says that is has been closed since 2001 calling it an underground multipurpose museum (…sic…?)

This French blogger has the best pictures so far. He is a true admirer and if you cannot read french I summarize his/her words:

the museum reflects the double aspects of Tokyo showing light reflecting materials and light absorbing materials on the exterior skins.

There are sculptures that will change with the wind on one side called “touching the wind”. The gold amorphus rock on the top stays to emphasizes this double lecture. Movement and contrast are the key words in order to get a meaning out. He thinks that the building represents a vessel/boat/ship/space ship that is going to land or departs from that spot that is lightly touched (Yes the cantilever is a prominent feature of the building)

My personal feelings are general about the architect, not this building per se. To speak freely since his work has unique and it has an astonishing contemporary value (if you think all the archistars that are using complex geometry nowadays with super powered softwares…) hence it should be highly evaluated first of all by the japaneses as the work of Miyazaki for instance….The fact that he is not included in the book by Hagenberg (24 architects), speaks eloquently about the situation.

This article is more exhaustive than my wonderings and it has also the reference to a more famous work by M.S. Watanabe, the Aoyama Insitut College in Ebisu (Tokyo) and speaks about the hironic sense of this work.

HEre another one.

Here is an article in french from an architectural magazine. It says that the museum was  designed to present exhibitions themed immense and invisible energy networks, information, services and waste management that irrigate Tokyo. I can see the waste and the water energy.

I update the post now, because The museum itself has been chosen as a Cover for a book, written by Kevin Nute, Place time and being in japanese Architecture I will suggest to read if you like what you see in this blog. Probably in this unusual sculpture there is something more to discover…

HOUSE by A.L.X. Architect , previously thought as a disciple of Makoto Sei Watanabe (渡辺誠)

I was going for a walk in a suburban area of Itabashi-ku,

where  is located a famous temple with a giant buddha. I was struck from the design of this house.

I did not know who was the architect. It reminded me some of the works of a powerful and unique architect called Makoto Sei Watanabe (here is the wikipedia voice with a lists of works )


Thanks to a Reader , precisely Mr.Ken Lee from Taipei, who indicated the right architect, I can update this post.

Here is the architect Official website . This label has some other delicious projects and it seems going well with the trendy renovations

thus I will suggest to check their new works there. I beg your pardon as I did not know them before.,139.63975&spn=0.003952,0.021136&ctz=-540&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=35.781669,139.63974&panoid=Coj4go4AzzN8Y2NjsSjTrA&cbp=11,270,,0,0