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Brian Butterfield Travel Blog

Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Awaji Island, Himeji, Kanazawa, Naoshima (Setouchi Art Festival), Hiroshima, Fukuoka

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    Chochiku-kyo - Kouji FUJII

    Kouji Fujii was a lecturer at Kyoto Imperial University as well as the design Head of Takenaka's Osaka office in teh 1920's. (The house is now owned by a Takenaka Employee so getting to see it was a special priveledge) Influenced somewhat by Wright, this house is an experiement in how to make a modern Japanese house specific to Japans climactic concerns. It includes passive heating and cooling technologies in the form of earth tubes and passive roof ventilation. Completed in 1928, four years after Wrights Yamamura House.

    I think looking at Katsura Imperial Villa, Wrights Yamamura House, and Chochiku-kyo together as a threesome gives a lot of insight into the Japanase design condition of the 1920's, as architects were starting to adapt modern Western design to a Japanese sensibility. This cultural exchange obviously worked both ways, with western modernists returning to the US and Europe deeply afected by Japanese design. Bruno Taut introduced Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius to Katsura and it was supposedly influential to their design development. Taut was familiar with Kouji and also visited Chochikukyo at some point in the 1930's.

    The house is really quite remarkable and deserves better images than the ones I came away with so here is the website (Japanese Only)
    http://www.chochikukyo.com

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    notice the alignment of the screw heads....
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    these two images are from a Japanese tea house down the road from Chochikukyo, all very well maintained. This is the traditional shoji screen panel over a reed lattice screen.

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About this Blog

The Takenaka Internship is granted yearly to one student each from the architecture schools of Yale, M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania. The Takenaka Corporation traces its history back more than four hundred years and this internship provides American students of architecture with a summer of valuable training at Japan's oldest architecture, engineering and construction firm. Based out of the Osaka design office, interns participate in various aspects of design and also accompany archite

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