The Making of a Modern Japanese Architecture: 1868 to the Present

David B. Stewart, Author Kodansha America $60 (304p) ISBN 978-0-87011-844-9
With its hundreds of plates and its reliance on primary sources, this sophisticated study defines what is essentially Japanese about modern Japanese architecture. Late 19th century Meiji banks and schools, reeking ornate orderliness, might have been at home in Victorian England. But Frank Lloyd Wright's rebuilding of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo presaged an influx of modernism. In the 1930s, the Imperial Crown style, a resuscitative orientalism, expressionism and rationalism all vied with one another. By the late '30s, the International Style had largely played itself out. Architects such as Kenzo Tange, Arata Isozaki and Kazuo Shinohara sought new ways to synthesize Japanese and Western elements. The challenge of designing small private dwellings and the Japanese concept of architectural space as a void that filters a building's environs receive special attention. Stewart also shows how Westerners like Wright and Le Corbusier borrowed from and, in turn, influenced Japanese design. Stewart teaches at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. (March)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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