cover image Contemporary Architecture of Japan

Contemporary Architecture of Japan

Rizzoli, Koichi Ed. S. Ed. Koichi Ed. S. Suzuki, Hiroyuki Suzuki. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0649-2

Illustrated by more than 600 photographs and plans, this survey looks at the schools and styles of Japanese architecture, their cross-fertilization with Western architects, and the way that Japanese building design has preserved its uniqueness despite Post-Modernist imports and the dominance of big construction companies. Japan's Metabolist Group of the 1950s and '60s treated the building as a living organism. As its influence waned, Japanese architects turned to historical quotations, regional styles and ""small is beautiful'' projects. They also created sleek high-rise buildings that managed to remain distinctly Japanese, like the conspicuous Sony Tower in Osaka, a sort of urban tree with glass-enclosed elevators. This showcase of talent spotlights many ingenious buidings that fuse old and new, East and West. An egg-shaped dome, built as a weekend retreat in the woods, adapts Fuller's geodesic dome. A Shinto temple opens into a massive cylindrical interior. An exciting book for anyone with an interest in either Japan or architecture. December