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10 spectacular Japanese designs

Hamburg, Apr 16, 2012 - The worldwide editors of Emporis have chosen 10 buildings in Japan for their spectacular architecture. The structures impress not only in their appearance, but also for their design philosophy, ingenuity andinteresting use of materials.

Architects in Japan have to design structures that are earthquake-safe while for residential houses, the restrictions of small plots have to be considered. Contemporary design is not only visible in modern skyscrapers but also in family homes. Especially, the bustling city of Tokyo is home to many architectural gems such as the 204-meter tall Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower and the office building “Urbanprem Minamiaoyama” designed by Yuko Nagayama & Associates. Its roofline is invisible because the façade curves upwards; windows in varying heights reinforce this perception.

In the last decade, other cities such as Shiga, Nagoya and Kyoto have seen a rise in unique residential houses. The 103 m² Keyhole House and the 260 m² Mon Factory/House designed by Eastern Design Office are both located in Kyoto.Keyhole House is so called because its front façade is shaped like a key. Mon Factory/House has 26 circular holes cut into its walls. Architects from Eastern Design Office enjoy “the freedom that comes with the scale of residential buildings”.

The use of new and interesting building materials is common. The Keyhole House uses mortar mixed with “sumi ink” that matches the red front door. The Slit House in Otsu is made entirely of cement with no windows, only slits.

Architecture in Japan is renowned for its clean lines and effective and innovative use of space. Buildings in Japan need little ornamenting as the structure itself is the decoration.

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