Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Humans

Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Humans

The Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium in Takamatsu by Kenzo Tange set to be demolished due to a roof leak. Kisho Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower and Kunio Maekawa's Tokio Marine Nichido Building were also demolished with regret.

Public buildings and skyscrapers by famous architects that have been landmarks for many years are being lost one by one due to lack of funds for repair and maintenance as well as inadequate seismic retrofitting. All these were removed after about 60 years, despite the fact that it was built on the assumption that they would be used for 100 years. While there is no way around it, it is a serious problem for system administrators and users. No one would dare to take responsibilities for water leaks, stripping, asbestos problems, and casualties if the roof falls down.

The advanced design of many buildings, a credit to the architectural profession, has meant that repairs require bespoke components, and in some cases it has been difficult to build infrastructure improvements to accommodate changes in use. Such reflections on glamorous modern architecture, in particular the work of Kenzo Tange, are highlighted in this "Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Humans" course. While Tange and other architects pursued the "ideal building for man" created under the influence of Le Corbusier and others, air conditioning and plumbing were considered secondary, and the equipment was achieved through the ingenuity of the engineers of the time. However, after twists and turns, there is no room for updating to meet today's needs.

The building was also specially designed with parts and furnishings that were not mass-produced to maintain a column-free space. In this lecture, the meaning and issues will be explored through dialogue with the architects involved and those who have taken up their work.

The architect, Professor Kengo Kuma, will summarise how architects should work to protect the quality of human life, living, working and various human activities in the New National Stadium, which was completed after Zaha Hadid's plan was destroyed.

It was emotional that the final lecture of this long-term series was recorded in the Japan National Stadium.

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