a+u Architecture and Urbanism 21:06_609

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。

A+U Publishing, Co., Ltd.
12 期号


feature: shigeru ban

a+u’s June issue features the work of Shigeru Ban. Established in 1985, Shigeru Ban Architects has been pursuing innovative structures and construction methods based on clear concepts. Twenty-five projects spanning the 2 decades since Expo 2000 Hanover, drawn entirely from outside Japan, are presented here. As Michael Webb describes in the introductory essay, “Continuity is the core of Ban’s work.” This continuity, or persistence, can be found in works ranging from small to large in scale, temporary to permanent in structure, and private to public in the commission. Frei Otto, who collaborated with Ban on the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hanover, described him as someone who creates buildings that “manifest architectural perfection while paving new ways into the future.” Otto further states that “the new cannot be perfect,”…

essay: shigeru ban: constantly experimenting

It’s fitting that a+u is publishing a special issue on Shigeru Ban, because this magazine helped launch his career. In 1975, while Ban was a student at the Ochabi Institute in Tokyo, his teacher loaned him that year’s April issue, which focused on the White and Gray architectural groups in the United States, and the May tribute to John Hejduk. Those pages of a+u inspired him to study in the United States, where he was challenged by radical instructors at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles and the Cooper Union in New York. Hejduk became his mentor, and he took a year off to explore the modern landmarks of Europe and the United States, and to intern with Arata Isozaki. All great architects are enriched by their…

l’aquila temporary concert hall

Hall for Music in a Disaster-Hit Region At 3 am on April 6, 2009, a major earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck the provincial capital of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy, about 100 km northeast of Rome. More than 90% of the buildings in the most severely damaged historic district collapsed, all residents were evacuated, and the city was completely closed off. Fortunately the earthquake struck in the middle of the night, so large buildings such as universities and offices were unoccupied and there were no people on the streets, and the number of dead, fewer than 300, was lower than one would expect, given the damage to buildings. However, the city’s concert hall, a renovated historic cathedral jointly used by L’Aquila’s famous Abruzzo Symphony Orchestra and Musical Institute Alfredo…

self-build house in nepal

Earthquake-Resistant Structures: Reusing Bricks from Collapsed Buildings On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck close to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, followed by a magnitude 7.3 aftershock on May 12. They caused widespread devastation, particularly from the collapse of brick buildings that had been built with no concept of seismic resistance, and more than 9,000 people lost their lives. After the disasters I visited the site to survey the damage, conducted a workshop on shelter construction for local students, and gave a talk on my experiences with disaster relief to NGO (non-governmental organization) staff from all over the world. I subsequently used materials readily available in Nepal to devise a prototype for earthquake-resistant transitional housing inspired by the traditional architecture of the region. One of the most severe and pressing…

paper log house

Based on an earlier version of shelter used in Kobe, Japan in 1995, some improvements were applied to fit in with the environment in Turkey. One unit, for example, was 3×6 m, a different and slightly larger configuration, which was due to the standard size of plywood in Turkey and also to the country’s larger average family size. Secondly, there was more insulation. Shredded wastepaper was inserted inside the tubes along the walls and fiberglass in the ceiling, and also cardboard and plastic sheets were used for more insulation, depending on the resident’s needs. On January 26, 2001, India experienced the worst earthquake in its history. More than 20,000 people died and more than 6 million were left homeless by the magnitude 7.9 quake, with its epicenter near Bhuj, Gujarat, in…

quinta botanica

Quinta Botanica overlooks the ocean from a cliff in Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal. Owned by an art and plant collector, the 4-hectare property holds more than 400 works of art, 5,000 types of plants, and about 10,000 books on art and botany. The structure acts as an artistic installation and temporary residence for visiting artists and botanists. Quinta Botanica is structurally identical to Paper House (1995), the first permanent paper structure that was granted approval under Article 38 of the Japanese Building Standards Act. The foundation comprises wooden joints and paper tubes fixed with lag bolts, creating a system capable of withstanding vertical loads and lateral force. To avoid cutting down trees, we designed the plan to weave through them in an S-shape. Because local architects, structural engineers, and…