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Tag Archives: japan

As Japanese Pop Art master TAKASHI MURAKAMI’s retrospective “© Murakami” show continues on its epic world tour, the grandiose GUGGENHEIM BILBAO museum plays host to its latest and most daunting stop to date. Settling into the swooping Frank Gehry-skinned art palace, the show—fresh off its recent stop in Frankfurt, Germany—replicates its general outlay previously established at the initial MoCA LA, and Brooklyn Museum stops, but this time the artist’s epic painted and sculptural works are finally housed in a venue as aesthetically compelling as the whole of Murakami’s oeuvre.




Review of the book THE JAPAN GUIDE

“The architecture of the 1980’s in Japan can be characterized by an important shift of emphasis from the previously dominant industrial technology, or ‘hardware,’ toward a highly sophisticated industrial technology, or ‘software.’ As a result, recent designs, while not abandoning the tectonic culture and engineering bravura of earlier modernism, manifest an increased fascination with the ephemeral and phenomenal or, in short, the sensual in architecture.”


Torunobu Fujimoro designed this Tea House in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, Japan


An article on an art show of the work of Takashi Murakami, a japanese pop artist, who created the movement known as SUPERFLAT.    He is also making money designing bags for Louis Vuitton.  (ironic isn’t it?)   The artshow claims to chart a lineage from the atomic bomb blast to the Hello Kitty! phenomenon.

Owes a lot to Andy Warhol, but also the East Village scene of the 1980s  (Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring).  


The skin is “fiber-reinforced polymer sheet”.   The structural ribs are laser-cut steel. 

This house is in the Shibuya District in Tokyo.  The architects felt they needed a strong form in this particular location to prevent the house from being “swallowed up” by its surroundings over time.

One wonders what the interior space would be like with furniture ….  the interior does seem to be compromised.

Also, how is the physical security?  How difficult is it to cut into the exterior skin?   How is the insulation value?


 A residential design in Japan – 3 stories on a very small lot.  The architects achieve innovation within a simple rectangular box form.   As the linked site says, there is no need for the formal gymnastics of a Hadid, Koolhaas, or Libeskind here.


The author of the linked blog post makes some interesting observations about this house in Japan.  First, the house is so precise you can’t tell if the images are actual photos or renderings.  This is the hyperreality we are living in – one cannot tell if an image is real or simulation any longer.  I’ve had clients think photos are renderings!   The house takes on the character therefore of a “non-place”.

It is impossible to tell how the fencing is detailed.  It is reduced to simple vertical lines.  Both the exterior and interior make use of “folding” planes.

Design by Kubota Architects.



A method of making payments, etc. from a mobile phone (in Japan).   I wonder how many years it will take before this system or something similar to it is available in the U.S. ?