Ueno Park, is home to the Tokyo National Museum, National Science Museum, Western Art Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and Shitamachi Museum. Not to mention it also houses the Ueno Zoo and the picturesque Shinobazu Pond in which paddling boats can be rented for a leisurely float around the waters. Since there are so many diversions in this part of Ueno, many people have overlooked a compelling heritage site that lies just minutes beyond the Shinobazu Pond, and is registered as an Important Cultural Asset: Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens.
WTB HAUS in Aichi Prefecture, Japan was created by Akitoshi Ukai’s AUAU architectural firm. This house exemplifies AUAU’s signature design characteristics of simple and functional buildings with dynamic contemporary forms.
Lying at the heart of the Japanese design aesthetic is the concept of ‘ma,’ which can be loosely translated as negative space. Time and again it can be seen (or unseen) in the sparsity of a brushstroke, in the empty corner of a painting, in the seeming arrhythmia of traditional music, in the pregnant pause of dialogue in film, in the fighting distance between swordsmen. Rather than an absence, ma is an interrelationship.
The seven-hectare Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum has relocated and reconstructed buildings for preservation since 1993. One of the central goals of the museum is to exhibit historical buildings of cultural value that are impossible to preserve at their original locations as well as to provide access to these important cultural structures for future generations.
This week we continue our series on small house designs with a look at three works by our associate architect Setsuko Sakakibara. In her residential designs Sakakibara emphasizes the active role that a home plays both in the lives of its residents and in its relationship with the surrounding neighborhood. When working on a new design for her clients she likes to keep in mind how the building will create new communicative possibilities between the home owners, and the town and society in which they live. Let’s see how these ideals play out when confronted with the requirements of a tiny or awkwardly spaced plot.