Brian Butterfield Travel Blog

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

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    Katsura Rikyu (Imperial Villa)

    Brian Butterfield
    Jul 14, '10 12:13 AM EST

    Completed in 1615 and still mostly in its original (though refurbished) state. One of the few tradional villas to escape fire or other destruction. The entire site is a procession through traditional gardens with a series of resting pavilions, tea houses, and residences sprinkled throughout, all built in the traditional Japanese Sukiya style. Some of these photos I am experimenting with my cameras color filters (granted with mixed results).

    (In Western Kyoto)



    Shokentai teahouse




    Onrindo (housing for the royal families memorial tablets)


    Koshoin (main house)


    Shoiken (country style tea house)

    In some way the landscaping here reminded me of the work of Sigurd Lewerentz, mainly the Malmo East Cemetery. There is something similar in the peaceful eeriness of the composition, and the ordering of views where for the most part you are given a very intimate experience of the manicured nature in your imediate vicinity that then suddenly gives way to axial views, ending in distant landscape elements. The buildings often being slightly offset from these views. Perhaps the similarity is only in that Leweretnz is the only western example I have personally experienced that approaches this level of mastery in landscape composition.


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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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