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).
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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.
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.”
“…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.”
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.
Print length: 448 pages
Publication date: July 26, 2021
Dimensions: 10.16 x 1.77 x 15.12 inches
To learn more, check out: "Contemporary Japanese Architecture"
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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.
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