04 May 2017
co+labo radović our week of intensity ends with a Symposium West of Japan/East of Europe
On April 26, a co+labo symposium about Japanese traditional architecture and the life and work of Bruno Taut in Japan kicked-off our exhibition "West of Japan / East of Europe", which was presented at Keio Hiyoshi Campus, Raiosha Building. Our guests were Professor Manfred Speidel (RWTH Aachen), the leading scholar on Taut, Professor Tatsuaki Tanaka (Ochanomizu University), the first Japanese expert on Taut, Yoshihiro Takishita (NPO Association for Preservation of Old Japanese Farmhouses - APOF), pioneer architect in minka (farmhouse) preservation and reconstruction, Sumiko Enbutsu (APOF; NPO Bunkyo Link for Architectural Preservation) and Dave Clough, architectural photographer (and the author of photos illustrating this post).
Topics ranged from an in-depth historical background and spatial analysis of Hyuga Villa, to a comparison with Taut's own house in Dahlewitz-Berlin; from the significance of photographing historic structures in Japan, to the significance and technical requirements to dismantle, move, reconstruct and refurbish minka houses.
The symposium ended with a call-to-action by Takishita-san and Enbutsu-san, aiming to reconstruct the so-called "Asabuki minka", a magnificent Edo-period farmhouse, whose owners were acquaintances of Keio University's founder Yukichi Fukuzawa, and their heirs have been professors at the university for generations. The minka was properly dismantled and its complete structural elements are in great conditions and securely stored.
After the symposium there was the chance to visit the exhibit, composed of hanging panels, arranged in such a way as to provide ever different views, depending on the visitor's standpoint. Detailed, 1:25 construction drawings are coupled with large-format photographs and copies of original drawings. co+labo students have made the first ever model of Hyuga Villa, in scale 1:50. It required great effort and skill, given the complexity of Taut's design and the richness in detailing.
The day was rounded off with a presentation by Dave and Marco at Tokyo's Pechakucha Night in Roppongi, a laid-back way to introduce our work to a broader public and lay audience.
We would like to thank our guests at the symposium for their time and passion, and all students and PhD candidates who contributed in various way to achieving a great outcome. ありがとうございました!
(report by Marco Capitanio, photos by Dave Clough)