April 28, 2011

Video: Interview with Yoshiharu Tsukamoto

From Studio Banana TV

Studio Banana TV interviews Japanes architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow - www.bow-wow.jp.

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1965. He studied architecture at 東京工業大学 (Tokyo Institute of Technology), graduating from his undergraduate degree in 1987. Tsukamoto travelled to Paris to be a guest student at L’Ecole d’Architecture de Belleville ( from 1987–88 and in 1994 he completed a Doctor of Engineering program at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

In 2000 Tsukamoto became an Associate Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and in both 2003 and 2007 he was a Kenzo Tange Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Harvard GSD. Also in 2007 and again in 2008 he was a visiting Associate Professor at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Atelier Bow-Wow is a Tokyo-based modern architecture firm, founded in 1992 by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kajima. The firm is well known for its domestic and cultural architecture and its research exploring the urban conditions of micro, ad hoc architecture.

Pet Architecture is a term Atelier Bow-Wow uses for the buildings that have been squeezed into left over urban spaces. Buildings with curious shapes and inventive solutions for windows, drainage, and air-conditioning often arise in these urban situation. One example of this is the Coffee Saloon Kimoto in Tokyo, a triangular structure with a capacity of four customers.

Most of those buildings are cheaply built, and therefore are not spectacular in design and they use not the forefront of technology. However we are attracted by them. It’s maybe because their presence produces a relaxed atmosphere and make us feel relieved. Pets, companion animals of the people, are usually small, humorous and charming. We find what we call “pet architecture”, architecture having pet like characteristics, existing in the most unexpected places within the Tokyo city limits.

Atelier Bow-Wow documented these micro buildings in detail through photographs, elevations, maps, 3D sketches, and brief descriptions in their publications “Pet Architecture Guide Book” and “Made in Tokyo.”

Images courtesy of Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Atelier Bow-Wow.

Interview by Studio Banana TV.

April 26, 2011

Completion of Metropol Parasol by J. Mayer H. Architects

This project is just plain bizarre. The structure is fascinating yet seemingly clashes with the surrounding historic city. Yet the bold concept and willingness to take risks has paid off in this case. I am fascinated by the undulating form as it billows like a cloud above the urban fabric. This is architecture that is hard to ignore, that will provoke discussion, that will get people to think about what design means and how it can impact a city. And what more can you ask for?

Press Release
April 2011 marks the completion of "Metropol Parasol", the Redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacíon in Seville. Designed by J. MAYER H. architects, this project has already become the new landmark for Seville, - a place of identification and to articulate Seville's role as one of the world´s most fascinating cultural destinations. "Metropol Parasol" explores the potential of the Plaza de la Encarnacion to become the new contemporary urban centre. Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Seville allows for a great variety of activities such as memory, leisure and commerce. A highly developed infrastructure helps to activate the square, making it an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike.

The "Metropol Parasol" scheme with its impressive timber structures offers an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, multiple bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols, as well as a panorama terrace on the very top of the parasols. Realized as one of the largest and most innovative bonded timber-constructions with a polyurethane coating, the parasols grow out of the archaeological excavation site into a contemporary landmark, defining a unique relationship between the historical and the contemporary city. "Metropol Parasols" mix-used character initiates a dynamic development for culture and commerce in the heart of Seville and beyond.

International Competition: 1. Prize, 2004
Project: 2004-2011
Opening: March 27th 2011
Completion: April 2011
Client: Ayuntamiento de Sevilla and SACYR
Architects: J. MAYER H. Architects
Technical Consultant and Multidisciplinary Engineers for Realization: Arup
Timber Construction Company: Finnforest-Merk GmbH, Aichach

April 25, 2011

Slideshow: Architecture in Basel, Switzerland

Basel is one of the most amazing cities I've visited. The landscape is beautiful. The blending of cultures - it sits on the border of Germanys, Switzerland and France - give it a lively feel. THe river was full of swimmers and ferry boats and the architecture is stunning offering an incredible collection of contemporary buildings dispersed within a historic city fabric.

April 18, 2011

Slideshow: Architecture at TU Delft, The Netherlands

Some images from a trip to to Delft last summer. The library at TU Delft by Mecanoo architects, is particularly captivating with the large floating cone housing reading rooms with the entire space tucked beneath a grass covered sloping roof. A beautiful and powerful creation.

For more info on the library visit the architect's website: www.mecanoo.nl

April 4, 2011

Video: Interview with architecture critic Deyan Sudjic

Studio Banana TV interviews Deyan Sudjic, acclaimed architecture critic and director of the Design Museum London.

In this interview he talks about a broad variety of topics of his interest, from the multiple scales of design, through the challenges faced by the next generation of architects, all the way to speculating about the future of printed media.

Deyan Sudjic is currently director of the Design Museum, London. Before moving to this post, he contributed to Schoolkids OZ, was the design and architecture critic for The Observer, the Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Kingston University and Co-Chair of the Urban Age Advisory Board. In 1983, he co-founded with Peter Murray and Simon Esterson, Blueprint, a monthly architecture magazine and went on to be the magazine’s editor and then its editorial director. From 2000 to 2004, he was the editor of Domus.

Alongside these roles, he was the Director of The Glasgow UK City of Architecture and Design program in 1999 and the Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2002, entitled “Next”.

He is author of the book “The Edifice Complex” which analyses how the rich and powerful shape the world, and several monographs on Norman Foster, John Pawson, Ron Arad or Future Systems.
- courtesy of Studio Banana TV

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