Innovative Construction in Japan

Modern Japanese architecture has been much admired in the West for its attention to materials, its refined construction details, and its ability to integrate traditional design principles into works that simultaneously push the forefront of technology. This lecture course looks in depth at significant works by modern Japanese architects, particularly those of the last quarter-century, analyzing both their detailed construction and the larger historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts in which they are produced. Individual buildings will thus serve as vehicles for exploring the relationship between design theories and construction technique.

Students will work in groups to develop two case studies, involving the production of analytical computer models. The midterm assignment will focus on the work of Kenzo Tange and allow student the opportunity to do first-hand research in the Loeb Library's Tange Archive; the final assignment will focus on works of contemporary architecture (further specifications to be discussed in class). The course meets weekly on Fridays and is open to all students who have completed the following prerequisite courses (or their equivalents): GSD-6125 and GSD-6227.