Toukouen

Suspended Guestrooms

Toukouen

Toukouen is a hotel that is located within a hot spring resort. One of motifs of the structure is a Torii gate, or a sacred boundary that is found in the entrance of a shrine. Six columns support two girders from which astonishingly, two stories of guest rooms are suspended. The lower section of the six columns comprises of a series of short pillars that aid in supporting the load, with horizontal “nuki” (tie beams) serving to connect all of the principle columns. The architect Kiyonori Kikutake had boldly transcribed the method of appropriating girders, short pillars and tie beams as traditionally seen in wooden architecture such as temples, shrines, and bridges into the context of a concrete-built form.

  • Toukouen

    Yonago, Tottori Prefecture

    Kiyonori Kikutake 

    1964

    http://www.toukouen.com

  • Toukouen

    Yonago, Tottori Prefecture

    Kiyonori Kikutake 

    1964

    http://www.toukouen.com

Koyaguchi Elementary School

Timber Resources and the Continual Improvement of Education

Koyaguchi Elementary School

This expansive, timber-framed elementary school building is laid out as follows: an approximately 100-meter-long portion with a centrally located entrance is oriented in a north-south direction and connecting to this on the west side are four classroom wings oriented in an east-west direction. Although the school’s splendid entrance hall calls to mind traditional Japanese architecture, the timber-framed building is decidedly modern and incorporates many rational improvements: walls reinforced with bracing, a layout providing ample light and ventilation, and a roof built with Western-style roof trusses instead of a wagoya (traditional roof framework). Recently, the building was seismically reinforced and its equipment was upgraded to meet present-day standards. More than 80 years after its completion, it continues to serve local children as a place of learning.

  • Koyaguchi Elementary School

    Hashimoto, Wakayama Prefecture

    1937

    Courtesy of Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture

  • Koyaguchi Elementary School

    Hashimoto, Wakayama Prefecture

    1937

    Courtesy of Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture

Hozan-ji Temple Shishikaku

A Syncretic Mountain Sanctuary

Hozan-ji Temple Shishikaku

Shishikaku was built as a guesthouse for Hozan-ji Temple, located on the side of Mt. Ikoma. With colored glass, a Western touch, a spiral staircase, made with advanced woodworking techniques, and a veranda supported by a scaffold that recalls Kiyomizu-dera (a noted Buddhist temple in Kyoto), the building is a highly developed hybrid of Western and temple-style architecture. This exemplifies the nature of Hozan-ji Temple, where a syncretistic fusion of Shinto and Buddhism still thrives, and Mt. Ikoma, a sacred mountain that has been a site of complex, public worship since before the modern era.

  • Hozan-ji Temple Shishikaku

    Ikoma, Nara Prefecture

    Matsutarou Yoshimura

    1884

    http://www.hozanji.com/index.html

  • Hozan-ji Temple Shishikaku

    Ikoma, Nara Prefecture

    Matsutarou Yoshimura

    1884

    http://www.hozanji.com/index.html

Yodoko Guest House (Former Yamamura House)

Wright Building Brewed Up by the Sake Industry

Yodoko Guest House (Former Yamamura House)

After Frank Lloyd Wright completed the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, in 1923, the “Wright style” gained popularity and Wright was commissioned to design several other buildings in Japan. Among them was this villa for the head of a brewery in the Nada district, between Kobe and Osaka. Nada has been home to Japan’s leading breweries since the 18th century and the capital and learning accumulated through this industry have fostered various cultural developments.

  • Yodoko Guest House (Former Yamamura House)

    Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture

    Frank Lloyd Wright 

    1923

    http://www.yodoko.co.jp/geihinkan/index_e.html

  • Yodoko Guest House (Former Yamamura House)

    Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture

    Frank Lloyd Wright 

    1923

    http://www.yodoko.co.jp/geihinkan/index_e.html

Mikuni Jetty Port

A Modern Harbor Made with Imported Foreign Technology

Mikuni Jetty Port

Although Mikuni was an important port in the past, the fact that it was an estuary harbor meant that the accumulation of sediment posed threats such as flooding and insufficient water depth. It was at that point that two Dutch engineers, George Arnold Escher and Johannis de Rijke, introduced some of the advanced water management techniques favored in their country and built a training dike-cum- emergency dike with a length of 511 meters. This was one of the first modern harbor structures in Japan. The fact that the port is still referred to as “Escher Pier” is an ongoing mark of appreciation and respect for these Dutch engineers.

  • Mikuni Jetty Port

    Sakai, Fukui Prefecture

    George Arnold Escher, Johannis de Rijke 

    1882

    Photo credit: Takuya Omura

  • Mikuni Jetty Port

    Sakai, Fukui Prefecture

    George Arnold Escher, Johannis de Rijke 

    1882

    Photo credit: Takuya Omura

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

A Museum like a Park

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

A museum opened in 2004 in a city with a population of approximately 470,000 people. Designed by Kazuyo Sejima+Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA, a new model of a “museum like a park that opens onto the city” was established through collaborative efforts between the architect, curator and the city government. As the building comprises a series of exhibition rooms = boxes that are dispersed within a circular glass-sided structure, entrances are provided in four different areas. For this reason there is no distinction between the front and back of the structure, and its interior gives rise to a migratory feel as if strolling around a town. As a result of maintaining a sense of harmony with its environment, the museum takes on a unique demeanor that changes in tow with the seasons.

  • 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

    Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Kazuyo Sejima+Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA 

    2004

    https://www.kanazawa21.jp/en/ 

    Photo credit: Osamu Watanabe 

    Courtesy of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

  • 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

    Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Kazuyo Sejima+Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA 

    2004

    https://www.kanazawa21.jp/en/ 

    Photo credit: Osamu Watanabe 

    Courtesy of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Hotel Tateyama and Murodo Terminal

An Alpine Hotel in a Wide-open Natural Area

Hotel Tateyama and Murodo Terminal

At an altitude of 2,450 meters, Hotel Tateyama occupies a place that is higher than any other hotel in Japan. When the hotel is closed from December to early April, the snow nearly reaches the top of the five-floor building. The unique nature of the location calls for a wide range of technical equipment, such as a basement to store an eight-month supply of heavy oil for heating. In an emergency, the building can also be used as an evacuation shelter. The clear-cut shape, seemingly carved into the natural setting by force of will, exemplifies the tense relationship that existed between national land development and nature conservation at the time the hotel was built in 1972, in the midst of Japan’s rapid economic growth.

  • Hotel Tateyama and Murodo Terminal

    Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture

    Masachika Murata 

    1972

    http://h-tateyama.alpen-route.co.jp/english/ 

    Courtesy of TATEYAMA KUROBE KANKO CO., LTD.

  • Hotel Tateyama and Murodo Terminal

    Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture

    Masachika Murata 

    1972

    http://h-tateyama.alpen-route.co.jp/english/ 

    Courtesy of TATEYAMA KUROBE KANKO CO., LTD.

Honshu D

Honshu D

  • Nagaoka City Hall Aore

  • Kitazawa Flotation Plant

  • Tateyama Caldera Sabo Construction

  • Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

  • Toson Memorial Museum

  • Genbe River (Mishima City)

  • Shima Kanko Hotel

  • La Collina Omihachiman

  • Lake Biwa Canal

  • Underground Platforms on the Osaka Municipal Subway’s Midosuji Line

  • The Japan Mint

  • The Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Building

  • Hiroshima Naka Incineration Plant

  • Watanabe Memorial Hall

  • Naruto Culture Center

Naruto Culture Center

A Regional Arcadia

Naruto Culture Center

Standing in a scenic location, the building has the appearance of a seaside Parthenon. It was designed by Tomoya Masuda, an architect and a professor at Kyoto University. Due to a personal connection to the mayor of Naruto, who remained in office for almost 30 years, Masuda was able to realize approximately 20 public buildings in the town, including this posthumous work, based on his own philosophical theory of architecture. Though there was a clear effort to centralize the country in Tokyo after World War II, regional governments and widespread wealth helped produce many notable architects who were fostered by specific regions. Masuda is one good example.

Watanabe Memorial Hall

Stunning Symbolism

Watanabe Memorial Hall

The Watanabe Memorial Hall is a music hall that was completed in 1937. It is located in center of a city with a population of about 170,000 people. Sukesaku Watanabe was a Japanese entrepreneur who had founded a company that represents the region, and after his death in 1934 the hall was built by an affiliated company and was donated to the city in his commemoration. The building was designed by Togo Murano. Seemingly drawing inspiration from Le Corbusier’s plans for the Palace of the Soviets (1932), its fan-shaped plane, three-layer curving structure, and six independent columns makes this building stunningly symbolic. Another predominant feature of this building is its appropriation of the findings of architectural acoustics that at the time had been considered state-of-the-art.

  • Watanabe Memorial Hall

    Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture

    Togo Murano

    1937

    http://wmh.ube-bunzai.jp/4

    Photo credit Masayori Yano

  • Watanabe Memorial Hall

    Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture

    Togo Murano

    1937

    http://wmh.ube-bunzai.jp/4

    Photo courtesy of Ube City Culture Creative Foundation

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