Renzo Piano’s Kansai airport has a mile-long high-tech terminal

Next in our high-tech architecture series is Renzo Piano‘s Kansai International Airport, which was built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. The high-tech architecture movement, of which the Italian architect Piano was a key proponent, was defined by buildings that utilised the latest developments in technology and industrial design. Japan‘s Kansai International Airport, with its asymmetrical clear-span […]

Hilltop concrete house frames views of the sea and a shrine in Japan

Kazunori Fujimoto Architects & Associates used corner windows for a concrete house with views of the sea and Itsukushima Shrine in Japan’s Hiroshima prefecture. House in Ajina is built atop a steep slope, resulting in uninterrupted vistas to the Seto Inland Sea with an internal layout that accommodates the change in levels. Bedrooms are on […]

Plywood furniture “islands” are used to customise public housing in Japan

A multifunctional furniture unit made up of raised plywood floors and pegboard walls allows residents in this public-housing complex in Osaka to customise their apartments. Nmstudio Architects were invited to create four apartment prototypes for the renovation of a Danchi (a public-housing complex) in Senri, Osaka. The 14-storey building was originally constructed in 1979 and […]

Concrete spiral staircase disrupts linear interiors of House in Ashiya

A spiral staircase breaks the linear geometry in a Japanese house designed by Kazunori Fujimoto Architects & Associates, which is made nearly entirely of concrete. The house is built for a couple and their four children and sits at the base of Mount Rokko, a popular tourist destination, in the Hyōgo prefecture. The studio designed […]

Shimpei Oda and Tetsuya Tanji keep things minimal in studio for graphic design office Panda

Japanese architects Shimpei Oda and Tetsuya Tanji made only subtle changes to this unfinished office unit in Nara, to turn it into a design studio. The two architects, who lead the studios Shimpei Oda Architect Office and Atelier Loowe, created the workspace for graphic design office Panda. Their main intervention was to add a new […]

Junya Ishigami’s Japanese water garden wins €100,000 Obel Award

Art Biotop Water Garden, an artificial landscape by Junya Ishigami near the Nasu Mountains in Japan, has won the inaugural Obel Award. The new international prize of €100,000 (£86,000) – making it one of the world’s richest architecture prizes – is given by the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation to a project completed in the last […]

“We are totally kicked out” from working in Tokyo, says Atelier Bow-Wow

Major development spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has greatly reduced opportunities for smaller architecture studios in the city, according to Atelier Bow-Wow. The upcoming Olympic Games has provided few opportunities for local designers and development related to the event has forced many smaller studios to look for work outside the city said Atelier […]

Japanese house has hidden courtyards for growing fruit and drying laundry

Three internal courtyards in a timber-clad bungalow designed by Osaka-based practice Arbol in Akashi, Japan, provide space for growing food and drying clothes. Located in a quiet neighbourhood, the rooms of minimalist House in Akashi turn inwards to these courtyards, with only a few small openings made in the wood-clad elevations looking out to the […]

Foster + Partners’ latest Apple Store opens in central Tokyo

The latest Apple Store in Tokyo is fronted by a row of two-storey protruding windows that turn the shopfront into a series of display cabinets. Located near the Imperial Palace in the Marunouchi district of central Tokyo, the Apple Store has been deigned by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Apple’s design team. Built on […]

Gosize designs its own home studio in Japan around a minimalist pond

Japanese practice Gosize has combined an architects’ studio with a house in a concrete frame with large openings around a small courtyard with a simple pond in Hyōgo, Japan. Called F Residence, the home office sits between two existing houses on a suburban street. Different spaces are split over three levels according to their function. […]

Pop-up pavilions for kissing and “dangerous play” draw attention to rules of privately-owned public spaces

Tato Architects and Dot Architects are among six studios that created pop-up pavilions at the Kyoto Art Center to examine the various prohibitions that apply to privately-owned public spaces in Japan. Called Kagerou Village the installation includes pavilions designed by Tato Architects, Martinez Barat Lafore Architectes, Ludwig Heimbach, Hiroshi Kato, Sven Pfeiffer and Dot Architects. Each of the […]

Takeru Shoji Architects designs Japanese home with “live-in foundations”

Takeru Shoji Architects has completed a home in the Japanese city of Uonuma, with small rooms suspended above a double-height living space which sits in a “live-in foundation”. Called M House, the home eschews the conventions for building in Uonuma, which has a climate characterised by hot, humid summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, by […]

SO&CO squeezes 2.7-metre-wide office block into alley in Tokyo

SO&CO has slotted a skinny office building into an alley between two buildings in Tokyo, Japan, which contains five tiny concrete workspaces. The office block, named the Multi-Tenant Building in Ginza, is located on a narrow L-shaped plot on a densely-packed backstreet in one of the city’s leading shopping districts. It has a stark concrete […]

Pelli Clarke Pelli reveals Japan’s tallest skyscraper

Construction has begun on Japan’s tallest building, a 330-metre-tall skyscraper in Tokyo designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The building is one of three skyscrapers being designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for developer Mori as part of the Toranomon-Azabudai district in central Tokyo, where Heatherwick Studio is designing the public realm. Planned to be approximately 330 […]

Heatherwick Studio reveals designs for “gigantic planted pergola” in Tokyo

Construction has begun on the Toranomon-Azabudai district in central Tokyo, where Japan’s tallest skyscraper will sit alongside buildings and a landscaped pergola designed by Heatherwick Studio. Heatherwick Studio designed the public realm and numerous low-rise blocks for the development within the Minato ward of Tokyo based on the idea of creating a giant plant-filled pergola. “As […]

One-room hotel Trunk House includes Tokyo’s tiniest disco

Hotel brand Trunk worked alongside design studio Tripster to create this boutique hotel in Tokyo, which takes cues from traditional Japanese aesthetics – but unusually boasts its own miniature nightclub. Hidden away down a cobbled street in Tokyo’s buzzing Kagurazaka neighbourhood, Trunk House has been created by the hotel’s in-house design team and locally based […]

Tato Architects intermingles interior and exterior spaces at House in Tsukimiyama

A simple gabled form glad in corrugated metal encloses a porous series of internal and exterior spaces at this house near Tsukimiyama Station in Kobe by Tato Architects. Tato Architects designed the home in Kobe, Japan, around a large covered courtyard, which divides living spaces from a bathroom annex. Rather than make strict distinctions between these […]

Arced concrete walls invite visitors into House in Konohana

FujiwaraMuro Architects has built a house in Osaka, Japan, which is separated from the street by two curved concrete walls. FujiwaraMuro Architects designed the three-bedroom family house in Osaka‘s Konohana ward, to allow for outdoor parking in front of the house. The studio created a pair of curved concrete walls that define two areas for cars to park while […]

Maho Nabé cooking pot integrates vacuum technology to keep food hot

This stainless-steel cooking pot based on a traditional Japanese design uses a double-wall construction to create a vacuum that insulates the contents to retain heat for long periods. The Maho Nabé pot achieves precise heat control and a long-lasting internal temperature thanks to its innovative double-walled structure, which improves thermal insulation. Unlike other vacuum pans, there […]

Yabashi Architects slots cafe and pocket park between buildings in Kyushu

A tiered pocket-park tops this cafe in Kyushu, Japan, which Yabashi Architects has erected on the grounds of a building destroyed in an earthquake. Host to a small cafe and an open-air social area, Omoken Park has been designed by locally based Yabashi Architects to be a “public space of private space” where locals can […]

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