a+u Architecture and Urbanism

a+u Architecture and Urbanism 20:07_598

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a+u - Architecture and Urbanism - is a monthly architectural magazine established in 1971. Since its inaugural issue, a+u has been widely celebrated by architects everywhere as Japan's only monthly periodical that provides in-depth reporting of architecture worldwide. Each issue is edited from a unique perspective, with essays penned by renowned architects, critics, and historians to guide the direction of tomorrow’s architecture, within and beyond Japan. Text is bilingual in English and Japanese. 1971年1月創刊。創刊以来、海外の建築情報を伝える日本唯一の月刊誌として、広く建築界に親しまれています。a+uの取材ネットワークは全世界に及び、100余カ国を網羅しています。これら各国の建築家を直接取材し、毎号独自の視点で編集することにより、生の動向をいち早く読者の皆様にお届けしています。また、建築家・評論家・歴史家による書き下ろし論文を掲載し、明日の建築のあり方を考える指針として国内外の建築界に多大な影響を与えています。

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A+U Publishing, Co., Ltd.
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12 Números

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1 min.

In 1968, a turning point for postwar society, a series of political upheavals symbolized by the May Revolution in Paris forcefully brought about social and cultural reforms. The 1970s that followed, despite a sense of crisis and uncertainty, became a period that heralded a wide range of new thinking and experimentation in the architecture world. The underlying question behind all of this was “where do we look for the foundations that will determine architecture”? This was also a question of recovering aspects that a modern architecture based on “function” and “universality” had caused to be lost. The 1970s was a time when “architectural theory” was widely discussed and published. I asked the leading historian of architectural theory, Professor Harry F. Mallgrave, to write an essay on the discourses that were particularly…

14 min.
introduction essay: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” but not the 1970s

This epithet of the nineteenth-century British novelist Charles Dickens – from the start of his novel A Tale of Two Cities – is often trotted out in historical retrospectives to portray decades of great material accomplishments or heightened emotional expression. The trouble is that it really does not apply to the architecture of the 1970s. The passions of the 1960s were far more elevated (destructively and constructively) than the so-called break with modernism proclaimed by Charles Jencks, “on July 15, 1972 at 3:32 p.m. (or thereabouts).”1 And the DeCon wave of “zero-degree” aesthetics practiced in the 1980s, was far worse in its conceits than anything imagined in the 1970s. At least the earlier decade could claim the work of Kahn, Scarpa, Tange, van Eyck, Utzon, and Barragán, none of whom…

1 min.
i. the presumed crisis of meaning

Although the debate over function and architectural form seems to have been left in limbo by Mies van der Rohe’s notion of a large, homogeneous space that can accommodate any function, the “meaning of form” has continued to remain a longstanding concern in architecture. The search for logic in disciplines such as semiotics seen during this era has remained at a conceptual level, while the social nature required to advance such a logic to the status of real, actual architecture has been lacking. As such, there are not many concrete examples where this logic has actually taken shape. This section seeks to understand the “semiotic” approaches of the era in an expanded sense. Taking the arguments of the “White & Gray” (a+u 75:04) discussion as a starting point, we examine several…

2 min.
white & gray: eleven modern american architects

At a table sit 12 architects and Le Corbusier. They are arranged as the figures in a Leonardo da Vinci. Is this the beginning of the Last Supper? No. Le Corbusier stands in front of a microphone; he is the moderator in the debate that is about to start. “Where is architecture headed?” In the rapidly changing conditions that surround us, it is difficult to give a certain answer to this question. What will become of things? How should we interpret things? In these conditions – perhaps because these conditions exist – it is essential that we reconsider basic issues. The following are the reports and confessions of twelve architects on the nature of the course architecture is now following. The 12 men are divided into two opposed categories: the…

1 min.
vacation house in maine, edward larrabee barnes maine, usa 1976

This large villa is divided into 4 standalone units that are connected to and integrated with each other by a wooden deck. The 4 units are a one-bedroom residence with a living, dining, and kitchen, a 2-story guesthouse, a studio tower, and a high-ceilinged study. Each structure takes on a simple, vernacular form with a wood finish in a single style. They are each arranged in a relationship to the others that allows the inhabitants to enjoy the coastal views fully. Details are kept simple: the roof surface connects directly to the surface of the walls, while the openings are also simple and sparing in their design. Photos on taken by David Frnzen courtesy of ESTO.…

1 min.
douglas house, richard meier michigan, usa 1971–1973

This house was built on a steep, conifer-covered slope on the shores of Lake Michigan. Rendered somewhat abstract by its white color, the building stands in stark contrast to nature. One approaches the top floor of the house via a slope, and descends to the lower floor from the inside. The round pipe railings and cylindrical chimney, combined with the lakeside location, evoke the image of a ship. A sense of Le Corbusier’s horizontal layered houses (such as Dom-Ino House) and vertical layered houses (such as Citrohan House) is developed through collage within this dynamic spatial composition. With the publication of Five Architects in 1972, Richard Meier was named one of the New York Five, along with Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, John Hejduk, and Charles Gwathmey. What they shared in common…