Togo Murano’s extensive 1966 building complex today is Meguro’s city ward office. The Meguro Museum of Art organized a fantastic tour yesterday.
Originally published on uncube magazine: More than 50 years after it was built, this Buddhist library building in Yangon in Myanmar, continues to exude the modern aspirations of its early days, while fulfilling its role as a site for traditional, spiritual learning. For Ben Bansal, one of the authors of a new guide to the architecture of Yangon, it is a building that like its American architect, Benjamin Polk, deserves more recognition.
The front of Tripitaka Library, shortly after its opening in the early 1960s. The landscaped garden, centred around the artificial lake, give the building a more stately impression than today. (Archival photos © Abhinav Publications)
A panorama shot from Star Ferry Pier, with People’s Liberation Army Building in centre-right
A small but insightful exhibition currently on show at the Toto Gallery Ma introduced me to the works of the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. His innovative use of wood and paper as well as his humanitarian engagement make his works accessible to a much wider audience than just architects.
Shigeru Ban – interior panel of La Seine Musicale
Manu’s former boss picked up this review of our Yangon guide from the German architectural magazine Bauwelt. The review was written by Wilhelm Klauser, whose website is here. A short translation of the most important points after the jump.
From our Berlin book launch in September 2015
I had the chance to visit Penang for the first time last week. What a fantastic city. I rode the bike a lot and probably had my best Chinese meal ever. I definitely want to come back for more.
In his Building Merdeka: Independence Architecture in Kuala Lumpur 1957-1963, Lai Chee Kien introduces the reader to the architecture of this period. Contrary to many other newly-independent nations, it was mainly local architects that reconciled modernism with a distinct indigenous architectural style.
With two maps in tow, I look at Tokyo’s land use and zoning in the late 1950s. Zoning designations largely reflected then-current land uses, except for some visionary (and eventually never realized) ideas about greenbelts and decongestion.
It does not happen too often that a topic as seemingly arcane as Japanese zoning makes it on one of the biggest economics blogs out there. So I would be amiss in not pointing my readers to the interesting discussions unfolding on Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution.
View from Atago Hills Tower in Tokyo, 2013
A few interesting pieces on housing, construction and real estate in Tokyo and beyond caught my attention lately. I wanted to collect them here for future reference and research. I wonder whether what was once key to understanding Japanese cities’ success in dealing with unbridled urbanisation has become an impediment to its citizens enjoying the fruits of an affluent society today.
The view from my balcony in Nakano, Tokyo (May 2016) Continue reading