ArchiWEB Explorer: Japan

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Abandoned Grandeur: Documenting the Downfall of Luxurious Places

[ By SA Rogers in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

There’s something about the contrast of opulent ornamentation and expensive materials with rot and deterioration that makes luxury resorts and mansions some of the most fascinating abandonments. Someone once cared about these places so much, they invested untold sums of money and hours of labor into them, perhaps having their walls hand-painted with frescoes or calling in master craftspeople to apply the finishing touches.

But nothing lasts forever, and neglect has the same effect on high end structures as it does on those more humble. Different viewers may look at them with sadness or schadenfreude, thinking about the larger context of human impermanence or just the potential wasted, but either way, we can’t help but look.

Monorail station of Amanohashidate view land / Koichi Hankai Architect & Associates

© Yohei Sasakura © Yohei Sasakura

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Ring / Life Style Koubou

© Nao Takahashi © Nao Takahashi
  • Architects: Life Style Koubou
  • Location: Fukushima, Japan
  • Category: Residential
  • Lead Architects: Kotaro Anzai, Life style Koubou
  • Other Participants: Kenji Nawa, NAWAKENJI-M
  • Area: 216.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Nao Takahashi

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House-K / Atelier KUKKA Architects


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YM Nursery / HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro

© Ryuji Inoue © Ryuji Inoue

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50 Years Later: Mysteriously Perfect ‘Tree Circles’ Spotted from Sky in Japan

[ By WebUrbanist in Culture & History & Travel. ]

Like a giant work of long-term land art, a pair of eerily precie circles can be seen over Miyazaki, Japan, made up of cedars planted a half-century ago. As it turns out, though, this was not aesthetic in intent, but scientific: the trees were carefully arrayed to test out a botanical theory.

Specifically, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries secured land in the mid-1970s to create this experimental forest to determine how tree spaces would impact growth speed and height. Trees were planted at ten-degree increments to create ten concentric circles – the closer to the center, the naturally tighter-packed they were, hence the geometry of the results.

Music Guesthouse IKUHA / td-Atelier + ENDO SHOJIRO DESIGN

© Matsumura Kohei © Matsumura Kohei

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House with 6 annexes / Kiyoaki Takeda Architects

© ©Masaki Hamada (kkpo) © ©Masaki Hamada (kkpo)

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Cover / APOLLO Architects & Associates

© Masao Nishikawa © Masao Nishikawa

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House in Tamagawa / Case Design Studio

Courtesy of Case Design Studio Courtesy of Case Design Studio

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