New Paths Forward for Japanese Architecture
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New Paths Forward for Japanese Architecture

THE PLAN Journal Spring 2022 Open Issue

New Paths Forward for Japanese Architecture
By Editorial Staff -

We present some examinations of contemporary design.

In the essay “Japanese Architecture Returns to Nature: Sou Fujimoto in Context,” the distinguished author Professor Botond Bognar “introduces the development of Sou Fujimoto’s architecture as it has been influenced by various sources and experiences leading to his recently completed and highly recognized major project, the House of Hungarian Music in Budapest. Among these influences the contemporary economic and political conditions in Japan and beyond, as well as the nature-inspired work of prominent Japanese designers are discussed.”

Finally, we share information about the recently published book, Contemporary Japanese Architecture (2021).

>>We encourage you to browse The Plan Journal and explore for yourself.


Sou Fujimoto

In Botond Bognar’s essay “Japanese Architecture Returns to Nature: Sou Fujimoto in Context,” Bognar writes:

“Sou Fujimoto is one of the most prominent and innovative Japanese architects today. Beyond his numerous works in Japan, he has a growing number of award- and prize-winning projects also abroad, attesting to his increasing international recognition. Born in 1971, Fujimoto belongs to a generation of Japanese architects who came of age in the first decades of the new century, a time known as the country’s transition from the ‘bubble’ to the ‘post-bubble’ era. The activity of this generation has since been on the rise in shaping the character of the intensely dynamic architectural scene in the country, and also beyond.”

 Sou Fujimoto, House of Hungarian Music, entrance hall with reflected light through the large glass walls. Photo by © Botond Bognar.Sou Fujimoto, House of Hungarian Music, entrance hall with reflected light through the large glass walls. Photo by © Botond Bognar.

The essay also discusses “the seminal work by Tadao Ando and Toyo Ito (...) and highlights the contrasts and occasional similarities between the so-called ‘White School’ and ‘Red School’ in contemporary Japanese architecture, in referencing nature as the primary source of their designs. Today, these ‘schools’ are best represented, respectively, by the activities of SANAA and Kengo Kuma.”

Bognar concludes:

“…the House of Hungarian Music, another milestone in Fujimoto’s skyrocketing career, is altogether rather different. By means of its highly sensitive way of incorporating nature and natural light, then shaping the elegant and luminous spaces with them inside and out, Fujimoto’s architecture here radiates (…) and  (…) amounts to a masterpiece.”

>> The abstract is available in THE PLAN Journal vol. 7/2022, no. 1 (in English)


Contemporary Japanese Architecture

In Contemporary Japanese Architecture (2021), the author Philip Jodidio describes the outstanding projects of thirty-nine Japanese architectural masters. Jodidio’s text features fifty-five projects including biographies, technical drawings and stunning photographs. Contemporary Japanese Architecture unveils the innovative ways in which Japanese building has influenced and positively impacted the world.

 Contemporary Japanese Architecture

Print length: 448 pages
Language: multilingual
Publisher: TASCHEN
Publication date: July 26, 2021
Dimensions: 10.16 x 1.77 x 15.12 inches
ISBN-10: 3836575108
ISBN-13: 987-3836575102

To learn more, check out: "Contemporary Japanese Architecture"


Why support + read TPJ?

The Plan Journal is intended to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking, and relevant research, studies, and criticism related to architecture and urbanism. The journal grew out of an awareness that academia is all too often engaged in research that’s disconnected from the real-world challenges that face different professions, and that research is only possible for a small number of professional organizations, and, even then, with limited platforms for its dissemination. The overarching aim of TPJ is therefore to enrich the dialogue between researchers and professionals so as to foster both pertinent new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice.


How does it work + why does it matter?

Prospective contributors are encouraged to submit proposals or complete manuscripts to the Editor-in-Chief. Subject to positive feedback, proposals can then be developed into complete manuscripts and submitted for review, using the dedicated portal on the TPJ website. 

After preliminary approval, manuscripts will be forwarded to suitably qualified people for commenting. TPJ is committed to following a rigorous double-blind peer review process using at least two reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief may also occasionally invite recognized academics, critics, or professionals (including members of the editorial board) to contribute to the journal without going through the peer review process, if warranted by the author’s reputation.


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