Photo © Takeshi Yamagishi
When so called “IVY House,” an abandoned house in Tokyo renovated by SPEAC, was posted at ArchDaily and Dezeen a few weeks ago, it was not received well by their readers. It made me wonder since the house captured my heart instantly. I started to think about a cultural difference in food. Most Japanese would salivate seeing alive fish, but on the contrary, Westerners would react differently – many of them associate the smell of bad fish. Unless you grew up in Tokyo in the late ’60s through early ’70s, probably it’s difficult to see this project the way I do, and for most, probably it’s just meaningless.
The original house was something typical that I had seen as a kid growing up in a middle-class neighborhood of Tokyo in the late ’60s. One has to understand the living standard of middle-class Japan during the ’60s through the early ’70s was that of a lower class in the United States. I grew up both in New York and Tokyo as a child and could never forget the contrast between the two very different qualities of lives.
It’s easy to figure out that this project had a small budget from the start, and that made the outcome of the project special. Let’s put it this way, a middle-class home built in a developing East Asian country in the late ’60s gets a recession-style makeover of 2009. What we see here is nothing fancy or cool (well, it is actually COOL). The void between the two eras, before and after the collapse of the “bubble economy” in Japan during the ’80s, is omnipresent throughout the house. If you cannot appreciate it as a good renovation, I suggest you see it as art!
I will omit the statement from SPEAC and call it Tsuta House instead of IVY House on this blog Continue Reading
Photo © Sadao Hotta
This is a renovation of a 770 square feet apartment in Tokyo. Imagine a family of five living in such a small space – you need to be clever and imaginative, for sure Continue Reading
オランダから、素敵なインテリアデザインの写真が送られてきました Continue Reading
マリン・ペイレ (Marine Peyre) さんの紹介の続き。ペイレさんは、”What does Marseille mean to you?”（あなたにとって、マルセーユとはどんな意味をもつところなのですか。）という質問に、”Marseilles means happiness, blond girls, wind, sea&sun, noise, funky people, disorder, freedom… ” と答えてくれた。もっとも然り、まさに自分があの街を好きな理由だ Continue Reading
ミュンヘンのマルチデザイン事務所 designliga が、インテリアだけでなく、メニューから CI に至る全てをデザインした『Das Neue Kubitscheck』というカフェ。 Continue Reading
From Marseille, with love!
マルセーユを拠点に、幅広いデザン活動を展開するマリン・ペイレ (Marine Peyre) さんの作品を２回に渡り御紹介。今回の旅行中に雑誌で初めてその名前と作品を知ったのだが、ペイレさんはフランスでは知られた若手デザイナー。ユーモアのある Cooked In Marseille という事務所の名前もいい。先日も述べたようにマルセーユは大好きな街、彼女の作品を見たら今回マルセーユに寄らなかったことが一層残念に思えてならない。次回マルセーユに立ち寄る際はショールームを訪ねていろいろ話を聞かせてもらう事ことにして、今回は作品の写真で我慢しよう Continue Reading
Photo © KOICHI TORIMURA
The architect may not have done much on the exterior, but he has given a completely new meaning to it. I like contrast and contradiction in general, and that is the first reason why I am intrigued by this apartment. And there is another reason, which may have more significance. Japan is notorious for demolishing structurally sound buildings and houses to build brand spanking new ones in a relatively short period of time. Although remodeling and renovation have grown considerably in recent years, many Japanese architects consider those as sideline businesses. There are still so many houses and buildings worth to be renovated rather than torn down and replaced, and it is time to preserve what is still recyclable. Here, a typical middle-class single family house from the 1980s, which had not been inhabited, has undergone a magical transformation into a two unit apartment house. HANEGI G-House, designed by Makoto Yamguchi (whose most recent project I FIND EVERYTHING was shown here a week ago) recently, is a perfect example what more architects of his generation should be doing Continue Reading
Strong visual contrasts between the Iron Ore Dock’s stained exterior, the clear water of Lake Superior and the subtle growth of grasses and plantlife, provide inspiration for the potential transformation of what this domineering structure may become. (Brook McIlroy Urban Design + Planning)
Standing within the Iron Ore Dock’s belly proves an overwhelming experience; while the stream of light at the structure’s terminus provides magnificent views onto the ‘Sleeping Giant’. (Brook McIlroy Urban Design + Planning)
Photos © Mike Lalich
One of the 2010 summer exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre on Toronto’s waterfront is an exhibition which investigates how we can re-imagine or re-purpose abandoned, under-utilized industrial spaces and structures to create revitalized landscapes Continue Reading
D-Lux Lounge Chair by Royal Botania
I’m happy to be back in New York but have to say it was great to be away from computers for a while and just eat, drink and relax by the Mediterranean Sea Continue Reading