22 Dec 2010


Supreme court of Japan. Okada Shinichi, 1974. A Monument for Justice.

16 Dec 2010

Tour updates 16 Dec

Currently planned tours are:
Setagaya ward office meeting hall - Kunio Maekawa
December 18, Setagaya-ku. Cost¥2000 or  ¥1000 for students. Starting point, Segafredo next to Nakameguro station (Google map). 11:00-14:00. Contact me if you want to join. Architecture by CAT, Koh Kitayama, Kengo Kuma, etc. Morphlogy, history etc. Weather 12 degrees and sunny, updated Thursday.

How is to ride a bike in winter in Tokyo? Not bad at all, it is dry and sunny. The daytime of the tour ensures a maximum of daylight and warmth provided by the sun. You don't need to wear a lot of clothes; but gloves and a jacket is recommended.

The tours will continue next year. At least once week, the schedule isn't clear yet but every Saturday is the plan. Along with weekday tours. Stay tuned...

15 Dec 2010

moriyama house

1) Dismantling. The scale of the neighbourhood.
Moriyama House, Ryue Nishizawa.
The keywords describing the project are from the presentation of this project in Tokyo Metabolizing. This project is a very specific solution to a problem of how to inhabit and how to live. It leans heavily on a number of behaviours only present in this specific context of the contemporary Japanese city.

14 Dec 2010

entrance garden

Every house must connect to a street. This connection must be at least 2 m wide. But what you do with this space is up to you.

9 Dec 2010

Tour updates Dec 9

A tour guide in front of House in Uehara, Kazuo Shino

December 11, Shibuya-ku West 11:00. Approx 2:30. Cost is ¥1000 or ¥500 for students. Starting point, McDonalds next to Komaba-Todaimae station (Google map). Architecture: Shigeru Ban, Kazuo Shinohara, Hiroshi Hara etc. City: River roads, road development, morphology, history (similar to here). Weather forecast 15 degrees, cloudy no rain (updated Thursday).

If you want to join please tell me you are coming, email, tweet or leave a comment. Sadly all bikes are rented out over at Tokyo by Bike, if you want to join but don't have a bicycke I will see what I can to.  More photos below.

blocking plants

What is amazing about Japanese street gardens is not just the amazing care being put into the maintenance but also how flexible they are. The plants move around for series of different reasons, like sunlight, presentation and condition. Here it is impossible to get the car out without moving the plants. Every time you want to take the car for a ride you have to move your plants to the side. The philosophical implications are profound. 

5 Dec 2010

legal buildings

Buildings maximising the possible envelope and FAR. Buildings like these aren't rational as built objects in themselves but in relationship to the limits imposed by zoning law, shadow planes, building regulations and economic pressure for land exploitation. In the end creating unique buildings typical for the Japanese city. Far removed from high-rises developments these buildings provide a sense of place.

3 Dec 2010

guerilla hedge

Outside a flower shop in Shinjuku the boring sidewalk hedge has been attacked by plants.

Towards the cars the hedge is preserved, towards the pedestrians a richer and more varied environment.  Of course the state of things could be prettier, maybe it is because of the season, maybe due to neglect. However the spirit of this urban intervention is full of promise.