The recent architectural glutonny and obession for innovative ways of living, has found in the Japanese house its most significant fad. More than ever keen attention to each of these buildings is dedicated in blogs and diverse publications mainly through pictures and plans. Even with great illustrations, this book is not the case, as architectural critic Taro Igarashi has well remarked, of a coffee table book. It is rather a valuable contribution to understand some of the forces and constraints Japanese architects have to deal with when building in a city as Tokyo. Opening a dialogue through interviews with the authors of these singular dwellings, it is a first-hand documentation of thier own design strategies.
Nuijsink has somehow decoded wisely what lies behind the contemporary Japanese house-making scene by tracing the ideas and connecting threads from the 50's generation such as Kuma, Sejima and Aoki, passing through Chiba, Tsukamoto and Nishizawa (60's generation), to the younger generation (70's) with architects as Fujimoto, Tanijiri and Ishigami, for mentioning few.
A fundamental publication for those aiming to better understand the design mechanisms for such ec(zen)tric ways of living.
Rafael A. Balboa.
PhD candidate. Kengo Kuma Laboratory.
The University of Tokyo.