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The Carpenter and the Architect

A contemporary reminder of the importance of the carpenter and wood in Japanese architecture.
 
When Japanese architecture is mentioned today, images of temples or pagodas generally come to mind. Others may think of more contemporary works: massive modular walls of rough concrete poured in place and bearing imprints of their formwork in the manner of Ando Tadao, the lighter structures of Ito Toyo and Sejima Kazuyo, or the finely wrought facades of Kuma Kengo. A generational chasm and, rather surprisingly, even a historical one seems to have opened up between the emblematic images of traditional Japanese architecture, in which wood is the material of choice, and more current and innovative work, in which its use has been reduced. Even though the carpenter has long been the lead builder, contemporary architectural culture appears to have forgotten this reservoir of construction experience accumulated over centuries. The Carpenter and the Architect expertly corrects this outdated notion.


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Table of Contents

A STORY OF PRINCIPLES – COMPLEXITY IN ARCHITECTURE… À LA JAPANESE – THE DIFFERENT ARCHITECTURAL TYPES – EVOLUTIONS OF THE PLAN – CONSTRUCTIONAL COMBINATORICS – TOWARDS ASYMMETRY – INNOVATIONS WITHIN INTERIOR SPACE: FROM THE POST TO THE TATAMI – IRREGULAR SPACES: THE ASSOCIATION OF HIROMA AND KOMA ROOMS – NATURE AND ARCHITECTURE – A FEW MORE RINGS IN CLOSING
A MODERN STORY – THE IMPORTATION OF WESTERN STYLES DURING THE MEIJI ERA – THE CREATION OF AN ORIENTAL JAPANESE STYLE – THE BEGININGS OF MODERN JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE: THE INFLUENCE OF EXPRESSIONISM – MODERN ARCHITECTURE IN WOOD: THE CORBUSIAN SCHOOL – POSTWAR: THE TANGE SAGA – TOWARDS AN ABSTRACT JAPANESE SPACE: THE SHINOHARA SCHOOL – THE COORDINATES OF IRRATIONALITY IN JAPANESE SPACE – TOWARDS AN ARCHITECTURE… IN WOOD – VARIATIONS ON THE STYLE – CONTEMPORARY SUKIYA ARCHITECTURE: AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE?
A PARTICULAR STORY – AN EXAMPLE FROM TODAY – HISTORY AND CULTURE – IDENTIFICATION OF A CENTER – PRINCIPLES OF AN ONTOLOGY OF CONSTRUCTION – PAST-PRESENT
369 POSTSCRIPT: TRADITION, WHO ARE YOU?
JAPANESE TERMS
INDEX OF PROPER NAMES
PLACE NAMES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ILLUSTRATIONS
CHRONOLOGY
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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