Japanese architecture: is it really natural and sustainable?

Many people think that Japanese architecture is uniquely sustainable and in harmony with nature, and has a new potential to become an alternative to modern-era architecture. Is it true? The key is “aesthetics.” Unique perspectives on naturalism by Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto, Tadao Ando.

Tadao Ando: Endeavors at The National Art Center, Tokyo

The exhibition “Tadao Ando: Endeavors” held at the National Art Center, Tokyo in 2017 was a comprehensive compilation of Ando’s energetic work that stretches over 50 years, including the replica of the “Church of the Light,” the installation of the Naoshima Project, the Row House of Sumiyoshi, Punta della Dogana and the Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre.

Toyo Ito Omishima Project: Omishima Minna-no-Winery

Architect Toyo Ito founded the Omishima Minna-no-Winery in 2015, an inspiring endeavor to convert abandoned orchards in a small, rural yet history-rich island in the Seto Naikai into vineyards, so that the relinquished assets can be transformed into new values and opportunities for the island.

Rural is the new black: Toyo Ito Omishima Project

After decades of progressive endeavors exploring new opportunities of urban living by translating the “modern” in a unique way, Toyo Ito is going rural. And there is a profound reason behind this. You will discover how he’s come to see the end of the modern system, and how he is finding a new future on the small island called Omishima in Western Japan, that still retains people’s potential embraced by a unique local environment. Going rural is the new black beyond modernism.

Toyo Ito Omishima Project: Omishima Ikoi-no-Ie

大三島 憩の家 (Omishima Ikoi-no-Ie) is one of the few visitor accommodations in beautiful Omishima Island in Seto Naikai, Western Japan. Architect Toyo Ito is heavily involved in the revitalization activities in Omishima, and Ikoi-no-Ie is one of the flagship projects that renovated old elementary school.

The architecture of awe: Musashino Art University Library by Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto designed his own “Library of Babel” at the Musashino Art University. It is the architecture of awe – a mesmerizing world of duality materialized by a spiral forest that consists of books and the absence of books (empty bookcases).

Japan in Architecture: Genealogies of Its Transformation – Mori Art Museum

Experience the sukiya-zukuri: Setouchi Minato no Yado

In scenic/historic Onomichi City, Hiroshima, you can stay at an exquisite, traditional Japanese sukiya-style house renovated by a local business Discoverlink Setouchi. Named Setouchi Minato no Yado, the houses overlook downtown and stunningly beautiful Seto Naikai Inland Sea.

Big ambition from a small island: Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari

The Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari is located on a small, traditional island in West Japan. After decades of progressive architectural experiments based in Tokyo, Toyo Ito is pursuing the future of architecture on this heritage-rich island that has been preserved from aggressive modernization.”