Makoto Tanijiri is a young Japanese architect whose practice, Suppose Design Office, is shooting inexorably upwards. Today we look at two of his recent houses by way of an introduction to his work. Both manage to be radical and both are capable of shocking their audience.
From outside, The House in Miyoshi looks like the scrag-end of a cinema, or perhaps the rear of a theatre that has been extended here and there. It appears to have no windows and it is painted a mid battleship grey. This apparently haphazard character reveals nothing of what goes on inside and one might argue has little relationship to its context.
But then what is its context? It sits by a railway line on the edge of some sprawl next to the most pedestrian and tedious of suburban houses. It might not give much to the site, but it takes nothing away!
It is an introspective house. Something like a quiet man that disturbs nobody, but who gets on with his work. To extend the analogy, we later learn the man is a maths genius… and now we begin to understand the house in Miyoshi. Read more
Photos: Tim Lucas, Price + Myers.
Southend, in the UK, is a seaside resort that thrived by providing inexpensive holidays to London’s industrial workers. When those workers started going to Spain for their holidays in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Southend, and countless resorts like it, declined steeply.
More recently however, there has been a reinvention and consequent renaissance of the English seaside resort. The drive has generally been to take the resorts more upmarket and in particular to introduce more sophisticated cultural activities such as art galleries and art related venues to revitalize the town and to attract new visitors.
It is in this context that we introduce this cultural Centre designed by White Arkitekter and Sprunt, located on the end of Southend Pier, the worlds longest and still the town’s claim to fame! The building is now open to the public. Read more
Photos: Julian Lanoo.
I am not sure I have come across an archetype quite like this before. I think the building is a driving test and administration centre, but some of the functions seem to be about more general road safety education and test driving. It could just be that it is normal to mix these in Gennevilliers, France where the building is located. In my experience driving test and education centres are seldom purpose built, so when they are, what sort of architectural expression might be appropriate?
One key to understanding this might well be to remember how nervous you were when sitting for your driving test. It seems that the architect A+Samueldelmas remembered the experience and used it for their inspiration. Read more
Photo credits: Takeshi Yamagishi.
The recently opened Culture and tourist information centre by Kengo Kuma Associates looks to create a new type of layered architecture. The concept is to pile-up buildings from the surrounding Asakusa district extending it’s liveliness vertically. The irregular façade suggests a series of roofs, each of which enclose a particular activity beneath. Read more
Photos: Juan Rodríguez
In a Spanish valley running from from the mountains to the sea, is an urban centre that is essentially composed of two separate towns: Teluada and Moriara. Though distinct, the towns share many things including the local culture. They now share a beautiful auditorium set in the mountains and overlooking the valley and the sea. Francisco Mangado has carefully controlled the views and setting to develop the relationships of sea, mountains and the people and culture that connect them. Read more