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Article

Michael Spens

(b Tokyo, June 5, 1937).

Japanese architect, teacher and writer. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1960 and obtained his MArch in 1966 and DEng in 1971. He began teaching architecture at Shibaura Institute of Technology in 1962, becoming a lecturer in engineering there in 1966 and subsequently assistant professor (1973) and professor (1976). In 1967 he opened his own office in Tokyo. A founding member of the counter-Metabolist group Architext (1971), Aida was one of the New Wave of avant-garde Japanese architects, expressing his theories in both buildings and writings. His journal articles clearly state his desire to question—if not overthrow—orthodox Modernist ideas of rationality, order and suitability of form to function. He likened architectural design to an intellectual game, and he was one of the first to equate deconstruction with the art of construction, for example in his Artist’s House (1967), Kunitachi, Tokyo, in which all the elements have arbitrary relationships with each other. In other buildings he focused on the creation of architectural experiences that reflect immediate events. In the Nirvana House (...

Article

Kathryn O'Rourke and Ramón Vargas

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...

Article

Toshiaki Nagaya

(b Tokyo, July 7, 1918).

Japanese architect and writer . He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1942 and in 1946–7 he worked in the office of Junzō Sakakura in Tokyo. After receiving a master’s degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1953), he worked in the office of Marcel Breuer in New York (1953–6). In 1956 he returned to Japan and opened his own office in Tokyo. One of Ashihara’s principal concerns was the use of logical structural systems to create flexible, integrated space within buildings. He developed the use of split levels or ‘skip’ floors to combine spaces of various sizes, as in the Chūō Koron building (1956), Tokyo, for which he was awarded the Architectural Institute of Japan prize in 1960. The Sony building (1966), Tokyo, was designed as a cubic spiral of skip floors, creating organic spatial continuity throughout the building with spaces that interrelate with each other and with their environment. A similar concept was used for the Japanese pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal, for which he received an award from the Ministry of Education. The continuity and flow of space between interior and exterior, and in the spaces between buildings, were also addressed, for example in the Komazawa Olympic Gymnasium (...

Article

Toshiaki Nagaya

(b Osaka, Sept 20, 1933).

Japanese architect and writer . After graduating in 1957 from the School of Architecture, Osaka University, he worked for three years as a designer for the Ministry of Postal Services in Tokyo and Osaka and then joined Junzō Sakakura Architect & Associates (1960–67). He established his own office in Tokyo in 1967. Azuma’s architecture is characterized by the expression of opposing elements such as individuality and collectivity, enclosure and openness, inside and outside etc. For example, his own house, Tower House (1967), Tokyo, expresses the idea of defensive living in the modern urban setting. Standing on a tiny plot of land in the heart of the city, it has a closed concrete exterior with no windows on the street elevation; this, however, is extended outwards to the city by a slanting parapet and overhanging roof-terrace acting as transitional elements between inside and out. Inside is an ingenious sequence of spaces expressing individuality in an area of traditionally designed houses. A prolific architect, Azuma produced designs with simple and clear-cut images: for instance, in the Seijin Nursery School (...

Article

Stephen Hill

(Margaret Lowthian)

(b Washington, Co. Durham, July 14, 1868; d Baghdad, 11/July 12, 1926).

English archaeologist and architectural historian. The first woman to achieve a first-class honours in modern history at Oxford University, she travelled widely in Europe, Japan and especially the Middle East in the 1890s, achieving fluency in a number of European languages as well as in Persian, Turkish and Arabic. She developed an interest in archaeology and architecture that was reflected in an authoritative set of articles on the Early Byzantine churches of Syria and southern Turkey, based on her travels in 1905. Her first major travel book, The Desert and the Sown, contains a mixture of travellers’ tales and archaeological information, as does her Amurath to Amurath. Between 1905 and 1914 she made archaeological studies of the Early Byzantine and Early Islamic monuments of Turkey, Syria and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). In 1905 and 1907 she surveyed Binbirkilise with Sir William Ramsay; their book, The Thousand and One Churches, remains the authoritative account of this important site. The architectural recording by survey and photography at Binbirkilise was carried out by Bell and is a lasting monument in its own right. Bell’s interest in Anatolia was inspired by Josef Strzygowski and his book ...

Article

Margaret Medley

(b Shanghai, Dec 18, 1909; d Hong Kong, Jan 1941).

English art historian. Fluent in Chinese, he was employed as a civil engineer in China from 1933 to 1934. He then helped with cataloguing, photographing and arranging the exhibits for the International Exhibition of Chinese Art at the Royal Academy in London (1935–6; see China, People’s Republic of §XXI). This was followed during the next 18 months by visits to Beijing and Jingdezhen as a Universities China Committee Scholar to study Chinese ceramics. He returned to London in 1938 and became assistant keeper in the Department of Oriental Antiquities in the British Museum. In July 1940 he moved to Hong Kong to enter government service, where he died in 1941. He is best remembered for his pioneering work on Ming ceramics, Early Ming Wares of Ching-tê-chên.

Early Ming Wares of Ching-tê-chên (Beijing, 1938/R Hong Kong, 1970) ‘Yüeh Ware of the “Nine Rocks” Kiln’, Burlington Magazine, 73 (1938), pp. 257–62...

Article

Hiroyuki Suzuki

(b London, Sept 28, 1852; d Tokyo, 1920).

English architect, active in Japan. He was articled to Roger Thomas Smith and then entered the office of William Burges. In 1876 he was awarded the Soane Medallion by the RIBA. In the next year he was appointed the first professor of architecture at the Imperial College of Engineering (now Tokyo University) in Japan, in which role he taught every aspect of architecture and building construction. During this period he was also active as an architect, designing such buildings as the Tokyo Imperial Museum (1877–80; now Tokyo National Museum) and a national banqueting house, Rokumeikan (Deer Cry Pavilion), for the Ministry of Public Works. After leaving his academic and governmental posts, Conder went into private practice and designed many residences, including the Iwasaki residence in Kayacho (1896; see Japan, §III, 5), the Shimazu residence (1915) and the Furukawa residence (1917). His style gradually changed from Gothic to more classical. He is often called the father of Western architecture in Japan, not only on account of his designs but also because of his role in establishing the Western method of architectural higher ...

Article

Ho, Tao  

(b Shanghai, July 17, 1936).

Hong Kong architect, designer, teacher and writer of Chinese birth. After leaving China for Hong Kong in 1949 he received his further education in the USA, where he studied art history at Williams College, Williamstown, MA (1956–60), and subsequently architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, under Sigfried Giedion and Josep Lluís Sert. After receiving his diploma in 1964 he briefly joined various American offices, among them Walter Gropius’s TAC (The Architects Collaborative). After returning to Hong Kong, Ho worked for local architects before setting up his own practice, TAOHO Design, in 1968.

Ho worked in many fields of design, such as interior and graphic design, as well as architecture. His exhibition buildings, which formed the major part of his early career, include the Olivetti Pavilion for the C.M.A. exhibition, Hong Kong, in 1968 and the Hong Kong Government Pavilion for the C.M.A. exhibition, Hong Kong, in ...

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Oita, July 23, 1931).

Japanese architect, teacher and theorist. One of the leading architects of his generation, he became an influential proponent of the avant-garde conceptual approach to architecture that characterized the New Wave in Japan in the 1970s and after (see Japan, §III, 5, (iii), (b)). He studied at the University of Tokyo under Kenzō Tange and after graduating (1954) he worked for Kenzō Tange & Urtec until 1963. From 1960 Isozaki began to develop his own practice, first as an architectural designer, completing the Ōita Medical Center (1960) and Ōita Prefectural Library (1966), and then as a theorist, loosely associated with Japanese Metabolism and creating such ironic projects as his ‘Ruin Future City’ and ‘Clusters in the Air’ (both 1962). His first large public commission was the Ōita branch of the Fukuoka Mutual Bank, completed in 1967. Other important public works followed in relatively rapid succession, and he quickly established his reputation with such buildings as the ...

Article

Eizo Inagaki

(b Yonezawa, Dewa Province [now Yamagata Prefect.], 1868; d 1954).

Japanese architectural historian and architect. He graduated from the School of Engineering at Tokyo Imperial University in 1892 and then undertook graduate studies in architectural history. He participated in research on the oldest building in Japan, the temple of Hōryūji at Nara, and carried out a survey of the principal buildings that recorded details of the temple’s proportions, construction and decoration. In 1898 he published the Hōryūji kenchikuron (‘Discourse on the architecture of Hōryūji’), his first lengthy thesis. In 1897 he began to teach at the School of Engineering at the university; in 1901 he received his doctorate and in 1905 he became a full professor in the department where he continued teaching until his retirement in 1928.

In his research Itō was more interested in comparing the civilizations of the East and West, and the influences on them, rather than merely accumulating archaeological information. As he explained in his first thesis, for example, the architecture of Hōryūji was derived from the Gandhara style in India, having been transmitted to the Korean peninsula and then to Japan. At this time, ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b 1879; d Sept 20, 1967).

Swedish collector and art historian. After graduating as a civil engineer in 1904 from the Royal College of Engineering in Stockholm, he travelled to China in 1906, where he worked first as a superintendent of reinforced concrete construction and then, from 1908, as a section engineer for the Tientsin–Pukow (Tianjin–Pukou) Railway Company. As objects of art were frequently discovered during the construction of railways, Karlbeck soon became interested in Chinese archaeology and art and formed an important collection of early Chinese bronzes. When the Swedish Crown Prince, later King Gustav VI Adolf, who was himself a collector and connoisseur of Chinese art, visited Pukow in 1926, he was greatly impressed by the collection, which was purchased and brought to Sweden. This began Karlbeck’s new career as a buyer of Chinese art for museums and private collectors. In 1927 he gave up his railway work because of political disturbances in China and returned to Sweden. The following year, however, he returned to China to acquire Chinese art objects. The visit was so successful that he made a further three journeys to China on behalf of museums and private collectors. The objects he acquired included a large number of bronzes of the Shang (...

Article

Toshiaki Nagaya

(b Tokyo, Jan 9, 1928).

Japanese architect. He was educated at the University of Tokyo (BA, 1955; MA, 1957) where he studied with Professor Yasumi Yoshitake, Japan’s most authoritative theorist in the field of architectural planning. In 1957 he joined the design division of the Kajima Corporation, Tokyo, one of the largest design and construction companies in Japan which in 1962 sent him to Yale University, New Haven, CT; he studied design and city planning with Paul Rudolph and Serge Chermayeff (March, 1963) and then worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in New York until 1965 when he returned to the Kajima Corporation and subsequently became Chief Designer. His work there included Kajima’s head office in Tokyo (designed in 1968), which was the first high-rise building in Japan to use a precast concrete curtain wall. In 1969 Okada’s design for Kajima won first prize in the national competition for the Japanese Supreme Court, Tokyo, and he established his own office in Tokyo to take the commission. Completed in ...

Article

Leslie Luebbers

(b Reedley, CA, Nov 25, 1919; d Walnut Creek, CA, Aug 30, 2000).

American landscape architect and educator. Sasaki taught from 1953 to 1970 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (HGSD), where he was chairman of the landscape architecture department from 1958 to 1968. In 1953, Sasaki also opened his design practice, which, after several name changes (including Sasaki, Walker and Associates (1959–63), with former student Peter Walker, and Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates (1963–75), with former student Stuart O. Dawson and architect Kenneth DeMay) and its growth from a handful of recent landscape architecture graduates to an interdisciplinary staff of 300 partners and employees, became (after 1975) simply Sasaki Associates, the firm that carries his name and philosophy throughout the world.

The son of Japanese immigrants who farmed in the San Joaquin Valley, Sasaki grew up with an appreciation of the relationship between nature and human endeavor. After Pearl Harbor and before he completed his city planning degree at the University of California, Berkeley, he was caught in the mass internment of Japanese-Americans. Sasaki earned a BFA in landscape architecture in ...

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Shizuoka, April 2, 1925 d Kawasaki, July 15, 2006).

Japanese architect, teacher and writer. He studied mathematics before enrolling in architecture at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (B. Eng. 1953; D. Eng. 1967). He then opened his own office in Tokyo and also began a long teaching career at the Institute of Technology, becoming a full professor in 1970. He was thus first and foremost an intellectual before becoming by degrees an architect of international stature through the realization of some 30 houses between 1958 and 1978. Generally regarded as an ‘architect’s architect’, Shinohara was content in his early work to ring the changes on reductively modernized versions of the traditional Japanese house. This changed, however, with his so-called House with a Big Roof (1961), Tokyo. Thereafter his houses tended to be identified not by the place where they were built but by the single-minded image that was the basis of their design. He subsequently produced eccentric works with earthen floors (e.g. at Karuizawa, ...

Article

Else Glahn

[Liang Ssu-ch’eng]

(b Tokyo, 20 April 1901; d Beijing, 9 Jan 1972). Chinese architect and architectural historian. Son of the political reformer Liang Qichao, Liang Sicheng was born in Tokyo, where his family was exiled from 1898 to 1912. They were forced to leave China after Liang Qichao’s participation in the unsuccessful reform movement of 1898. After returning to China, Liang Sicheng left in 1924 to attend the School of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, greatly inspired by his fiancée and fellow student, Lin Huiyin, who became his wife and collaborator until her death in 1955. At the University of Pennsylvania he became interested in the history of architecture, a subject until then unknown to him. In 1927 he received his M.A. in architecture, and in 1928 he and Lin Huiyin married on their way back to China. Liang became a teacher of architecture at the University of Mukden (Shenyang) in Manchuria between ...

Article

Hajime Yatsuka

(b Ebetsu, Hokkaido, April 28, 1935).

Japanese architect and writer. He was a student of the architect Takamasa Yoshizaka at Waseda University, Tokyo, graduating in 1959, and he established his own office in 1964. In 1971 he formed the avant-garde group Architext with four other architects; they all continued to work independently, however, with no common design philosophy. Suzuki’s work is characterized by an innovative use of raw concrete, revealing the influence of Yoshizaka. Ultimately, although he did not work in the Brutalist style, he succeeded in developing an individual style with a combination of simple geometries (especially rectilinear) and finely finished concrete surfaces. He also incorporated traditional features such as eaves and open spaces, together with modern elements such as skylights and voids. Suzuki concentrated on residential work and produced buildings that represent some of the most successful solutions to the problems of living in modern Japanese cities. In this respect he is followed by Tadao Andō. Important works include the Shishido House (...

Article

Botond Bognar

(b Sapporo, Hokkaido, March 15, 1934).

Japanese architect, writer and teacher. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1958 and continued his studies as a Fulbright scholar (1959–60) at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. He then worked for Josep Lluís Sert in Cambridge, MA (1960–61); for Harrison & Abramovitz in New York (1961–2); and for Jørn Utzon, Arne Jacobsen and Henning Larsen in Copenhagen, Denmark (1962–4). On his return to Japan he established his own office, Minoru Takeyama and the United Actions, in Tokyo in 1965, opening a second office in Sapporo in 1975. One of the New Wave of avant-garde Japanese architects and one of the early representatives of Post-modernism in Japan, Takeyama was interested in semiotics and the language of architecture. In 1971, with Takefumi Aida, Takamitsu Azuma, Mayumi Miyawaki and Makoto Suzuki, he formed the counter-Metabolist group Architext. His first significant buildings were Ichiban-kan (‘Number One Building’; ...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

(b Osaka, Sept 4, 1913; d Tokyo, March 22, 2005).

Japanese architect, urban planner and writer. He graduated in architecture from the University of Tokyo (1938) and worked briefly for Kunio Maekawa. From 1946 to 1974 he taught at the university, becoming professor emeritus after 1974; he also received a PhD there in 1959. Many Japanese architects who later gained prominence, such as Arata Isozaki, Kishō Kurokawa and Fumihiko Maki, were once members of his university studio, the centre of his design activities until 1961 when he established the office Kenzō Tange & Urtec, Urbanists and Architects, in Tokyo. Tange was perhaps the most important architect in Japan during the 1950s and 1960s, times of national unity and established social agenda with which his heroic vision and hierarchical, structured architecture were in tune. His career was marked by early success with winning entries for competitions to design a memorial to the creation of the Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere (...

Article

Hajime Yatsuka

(b Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefect., July 24, 1904; d Tokyo, Feb 2, 1979).

Japanese architect and writer. He graduated from the architecture department of Tokyo Imperial University in 1928 and established his own office in Tokyo in 1930. He began his career as an avant-garde designer. His first work, the Hydraulics Laboratory (1932) at Tokyo Institute of Technology, was a radically functionalist building, regarded as one of the first Constructivist works in Japan. He also criticized Le Corbusier in 1930 for élitism and a lack of practical concern. However, the Hydraulics Laboratory and other modernist works of this period such as the Keio Kindergarten (1937), Tokyo, reveal a classical sense of order in their composition, and, during his visit to Germany in 1938, he was most impressed by the Neo-classical works of Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Heinrich Tessenow.

After his return to Japan, he adopted a style quite different from his earlier modernism: buildings designed for Keio University, Tokyo, after World War II, for example the Department of Medicine (...

Article

Walter Smith

(b Jiangxi, China, July 14, 1920; d Greenbrae, CA, Dec 27, 2011).

American architect, teacher and writer. Born to American missionaries in China, Tyng graduated from Radcliffe College in 1942 and received her Masters of Architecture degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1944. From 1947 to 1973 she worked with Louis Kahn and was closely involved in the design of many of his buildings, notably the Yale University Art Gallery. During this time she was also Associate Consultant Architect for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and Redevelopment Authority (1952–3) and for the Mill Creek Pennsylvania Redevelopment Plan. From 1968 she was an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; she also taught at several other colleges, and she practised architecture independently after 1973. In 1975 Tyng received a PhD in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Her highly theoretical research involved the interrelations between physical, natural, and psychic structures and their architectural application. Her dissertation discusses the mathematically based Fibonacci–Divine Proportion as a matrix, ‘linking unpredictable information bits in the brain … to precise proportional mean, or “essence”’. This she related to Jung’s theories of the collective unconscious. An early independent building by Tyng, the Walworth Tyng House (...