Haiku reflections on Japan

Eye-catching architecture

Architecture to

please the eye, fit in with

nature or urban…

… settings and maybe even make us smile to boot.   That`s great architecture in my mind.    Just been looking at some photos of the work of a Japanese architect called Toyo Ito who has just won a prestigious award in architecture – the Pritzker Prize.     My favourite from the selection of photos is the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre in Nagano – beautiful.   Here`s a night view pic courtesy of Panaramio.  Hope it`s ok to publish it here:

17034836

Two really interesting ones were the Tower of Winds in Yokohama and the Za-Koenji Public Theatre in Tokyo.  The former looks like a really tall cylindrical chandelier.   It responds to wind direction and speed.    I wonder how that holds up in tests from the extreme weather Japan experiences.  The latter, from a head-on view, looks like a large black umbrella which has been abandoned in that very park.   Unusual looking.  Speaking of black, which we wear at funerals (though white is associated with death in Japan, not black, black is worn at funerals in Japan also), another lovely one is the Municipal Funeral Hall in Kakamigahara in Gifu Prefecture, titled Meiso no Mori (Forest of Meditation).   The roof of it looks really nice against the green slopes behind it, and it looks out on a lake.   Nice  setting for a funeral, if I may be morbid for a second.

The mediathèque in Sendai was mentioned in particular as a reason for awarding Mr Ito – the 6th Japanese architect to win this prize.    I know they have to take into account the effect of earthquakes on new buildings in Japan and that they design and build everything now in recognition of this omnipresent threat but I just can`t help picturing all that glass shattering!!

I recommend you look him up if you`re in any way interested in architecture.    I thought I`d mark my 100th post with this theme because I think I might like to stick to stuff like this – culture, art, music – for my future posts.    Well, we`ll see.

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