The Japanese House

‘The Japanese House is the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of World War II to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential examples of modern and contemporary design.’  Here are: responses to the widespread devastation of Tokyo in the War; efforts to establish an architectural language for a new period in Japanese history; and the use of designs to propose radical critiques of society and innovative solutions to changing lifestyles. Lessons perhaps for some of our housing and urban challenges.

At another level there is delight in housing that is lightweight and open to the outside world – the houses blur the boundaries between inside and outside – and the importance of the handmade, the material and the fantastical.  A dilemma is how to reconcile by Japan’s advanced traditional carpentry with modern needs and construction techniques.  Some ‘architects open their houses to nature, incorporating plants, sunlight and even soil into the architecture so as to make the house a living organism.’

Photos: The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945, The Barbican, 170607

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