Buildings nowadays are becoming more complex but are also becoming more attractive with its attention-seeking designs. Every country has a unique culture for buildings that makes it unique to the country itself. Take Italy for example, waterways are built between residential buildings for canoes to sail through and passengers can enjoy the beautiful view of Venezia. Japan is a country that takes pride in their culture with multiple structures that were built a few hundred years ago are still standing even today. But with so many buildings in the world, how does Japan stand out among its competitors in architecture?
One of the popular arkitek firm companies that is popular in Japan is Kengo Kuma & Association that was established in 1990 by Kengo Kuma. After graduating with a masters for architecture, Kengo Kuma continued to pursue his dream and established his own studio. His main goal is to create structures to recover Japan’s traditional buildings and has been focused on designing structures with only wood. One of his famous works is the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum, a bridge built in 2010 at the Kochi Prefecture. It is built with a web-like design as woods are piled on top of each other and a single pillar at the center of the bridge to achieve balance disregarding its design. It is connected between two facilities that were separated by a road and offers more than just a means of travelling. As if the complexity of the exterior design wasn’t enough, the interior design is as equally impressive for passersby. It is brimming with a strong, traditional atmosphere as if it is taking us back to the time of medieval Japan and a taste of how their buildings felt like. In 2020, they won an award for Architect of the Year during the Iconic Awards making them worldwide famous among architects.
Another popular Japanese architect firm is Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, founded by Tadao Ando who is famously known for “burying” a Buddha statue. Despite having no education, Tadao Ando picked up architecture after his visit to Europe where he was inspired by renowned French architecture designer, Charles Edouard Jeanneret, otherwise known as Le Corbusier, who was famously known for his concrete design. Despite being a popular boxer, Ando dropped his gloves for good and went to get a license and tearned architecture himself. Today, he is one of the most renowned architects of the century as his structures are built with a clean look despite being made of concrete. If there is a building that is too old, he upgrades that building by improving its surroundings as it is his policy to “respect old people, respect old buildings, but also look into the future”.
Although Japan’s culture might be outdated, they take pride in it so heavily that in some prefectures, you can see wooden structures that are dated as far back as the medieval period and taken over as tourist attraction spots. We may barely see it, but some things are carried forward to our modern society to remind us of what the past looks like.
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