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.


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.


The Rossini`s paradigm

This may seems off topic but is is relevant to some previous posts. A paradigm, is not a common word, let say that a paradigm is an example so clear and so well understood that could be used to measure other phenomenons. This wide definition of paradigm can be applied to history, science, arts and so on.

In this case I wish to explain why I associate paradigm to the person of Rossini. Rossini was a music composer, he lived in the 18th century, born in a small town in 1792  named Pesaro. His career was fast as a flash. I think most of you know about Mozart than of Rossini but really he is the one considered had made opera becoming the modern Opera.

He was only 14 when he composed his first opera.! The big contract with a theatre came ad the age of 23, in 1815. Wikipedia voice is fairly correct even if many of his operas went lost so I am not sure about the 39 cited there. If you think for a second that composing an opera is not as easy as writing a blog; even nowadays not every musician has the skills to write a whole opera, and he did it when he was a kid.

Until now it is just a list of things, dates and numbers.

In 1823 twelve of his operas were already represented in Paris, and when he moved there he was alredy a star…but, guys, he was just 29 years old, and the king wanted him to take over an historical theatre in Paris (the Theatre Italien), that precisely happened one year later, on 1824. And what do you think happened in Paris?

“A large sector of the press was against him, more for chauvinistc than for musical reason”(The Golden Century of Italian Opera, by William Weaver, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1980)

It is known that his talent and his skills were two steps ahead to his musicians competitors, but had they recognized his greatness? What sort of advantage could have been taken from that? None. They had but negative points on their side thus they threw their jealousy, a human feeling, like stones toward him. Luckily with the audience on his side Rossini lived in the French capital quite a good life.

So here are two facts. Being the best, and coming from another country makes the Rossini career a sort of paradigm that can be applied to similar situations.

Was he a likeable and pleasent man or not, it does not make any difference for this purpose. I am sure most of you can gauge others stories as well in other countries , times and arts or sports…

Then you can add much more details to this story, for instance the huge difference at that time between Paris and Rome; the latter one was almost like a huge village in the early years of 19th century, the Pope was not particularly happy of the ideas of coming from the last revolutions.

[As you may not know, the Italian State was at the time, just an utopia, and when it was founded 50 years later, it was against the Pope, and against the religion…just to mention an hot topic that many Italians seems to forget these days…]

…could the Rosssini paradigm be applied to mrs Hadid, which happens to embody even a greater challenge than the one won by Rossini ?

three factors. Foreigner, best, and…woman.

Unfortunately  I made the association after having read an article on the english version of the yomiuri shimbun.

An article that if it was published on a western paper would be ridiculous, almost defamatory…and that reminds me the 1824, Paris….

I think the politicians have all the right to change decision in spite of whatever reason they need. Another story is letting some japanese architects to mount conclusion based on fallacious stereotypes: we all make fallacious decisions. Another one, just a step too further for western standards, to minimize with insults.

…I was forgotting a link to watch a Rossini`s Opera, the Guglielmo Tell at the ROF, in french with german subtitles.