Pick of the crop: Japanese architecture

Omiyamae Gymnasium, Tokyo

This is the winning entry of a design competition in 2008, submitted by June Aoki. The contest was open to so many people and received equally as many entries, so what made this particular one stand out so monumentally? Well this has the structure of a sunken ship, partially risen and based in a quiet residential neighbourhood. There is a leisurely public park at the top of the ship, and you also have a state of the art indoors swimming pool, a café and numerous business friendly meeting rooms.

Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building, Tokyo

Kengo Kuma made an organic design of the urban campus of the University of Tokyo, with their brand new research building. It is less geometric than the other structures in the campus, and more feathered, wooden and voluminous, in concrete and stone marking out a balance of wood and earth.

Tsurunga Station Multipurpose Centre, Tokyo

Tsurunga is currently waiting for its first bullet train, Chiba Manabu. While we patiently await its technological arrival, we have in our hands a multipurpose centre, that is a tribute to olden days. Oh should we expect nostalgia for the bullet train? The station that use to house the old train, that is to now to be replaced by a bullet train, was made of wood and was destroyed in 1945. It was a favourite with locals, so it is interesting to see how the new structure explores glass-architecture, as opposed to more theatrical  displays of European glory, we would have all loved to have seen.


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