It seems controversy over the new National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics isn’t over yet.
Built with wooden frames and light materials, the majority of Japanese homes are torn down and rebuilt from scratch once they begin to age. But one architect in Chiba had a slightly different idea…
Japan does small better than pretty much any other country in the world. From intricate origami to beautiful bonsai to sushi made with barely a dozen grains of rice, the Japanese people are known for their dexterity and attention to detail.
It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that Japanese retailer Muji is now getting into the tiny house movement and recently showcased its range of prefabricated ‘Muji Hut’ minimalist homes and hangouts.
Whenever we see something that’s cute, huge and blows our minds, we generally look to Japan as the source behind the creation. While they’ve proved they can be design innovators in oversized sushi, and the creation of fluffy giant cats, there’s one area where Japan has a lot to learn from other countries, and its something that exists around the country in abundance: power lines.
Often seen towering over rice fields, propped up on the side of mountains and jutting out beyond the high rises, wouldn’t it be significantly more amazing if the ordinary-looking transmission tower had the occasional smiley face or pair of gigantic arms like a colossal Titan? We take a look at some amazing electricity pylon designs from around the world, in the hope that one day, Japan will turn its keen design eye in their direction.
Incongruous in their grey surroundings, these multicoloured buildings looks like something in a children’s playground, or perhaps an outsized set of toy building blocks. But these colourful constructions are Reversible Destiny lofts—rental apartments in Tokyo’s Mikata City. And the inside of these eccentric properties is just as extraordinary and confusing as the exterior.
But what is “Reversible Destiny” anyway? And how is living in a playful apartment supposed to make you immortal? We sent a reporter from our Japanese sister site Pouch to find out.
The architecture in Japan tends to look pretty much the same in most neighborhoods. It’s always a mix of older, traditional homes with sloping roofs and those distinctive, old-timey shingles, which butt up against the blockier modern buildings, plus decaying shanty houses on an alarming number of corners that all look like they could come crashing down at any moment. Sure, there is the occasional bizarre Halloween village out of nowhere, and the skyscrapers and such can be cool and varied, that’s generally the pattern.
So imagine how extra disorienting it would be to stumble upon this largely unheard-of village of beautifully weird polystyrene bubble houses in the Middle of Nowhere, Japan.
Next time you’re about to dump beer bottles in the recycling bin, consider that they could be used to make a house instead.
Armed with $11,000 and 8,500 discarded beer bottles, Chinese architect Li Rongjun spent over four months using bottles to build the second floor of his two-story house in Chongqing, China, according to Chinese media.
I’ve got nothing but love for Tokyo, and I’ve spent a good chunk of my adult life working and playing in Japan’s city of cities. Still, I remember having mixed emotions when it was announced as the site of the 2020 Olympics.
Like everyone at RocketNews24, I truly believe Japan is an awesome place, and I’m happy whenever something happens that gets people to take a peek at what’s going on here. But I was worried that in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics, Japan would embark on a glut of overly extravagant construction projects, building needlessly expensive stadiums that would fall into disuse or disrepair soon after the Games ended, as has happened in so many other host cities.
That certainly seemed to be what was happening with Tokyo’s New National Stadium. Every few months came a new report that cost estimates had been revised up yet again, and the expected price tag recently soared to 252 billion yen (US$2.02 billion). Finally, though, the Tokyo Olympics organizers have said enough is enough, and they’ve decided to toss out the existing design completely and start over from scratch.
If you’ve been to Shibuya Station recently, you’ll have seen one area in particular that’s filled with crowds, noise and trucks; and it’s not the meeting place around the famous statue of Hachiko.
It’s the massive redevelopment project currently underway to revitalise the district and deliver a completely new-looking Shibuya by 2027. Latest pictures of the next high-rise in the pipeline reveal just how amazing life in Neo-Tokyo will be.
Kids will be kids. And being kids, one of the things they are inevitably going to do is play in rain puddles. No matter how they might be scolded later, the sheer joy of splish-splashing through some nice big puddles exerts an irresistible magnetic force on little feet.
Rather than trying to reign in that youthful inclination, one preschool in Japan is embracing it through a central courtyard designed to collect water when it rains.
One of the best things about taking a holiday abroad is basking in the glory of all the historical architecture of the area. Another amazing thing about it is eating delicious food and buying tons of yummy goodies to bring home. So if you’re thinking of visiting Taiwan any time soon, you’d be crazy to pass up an opportunity to visit this olde-world opthalmologist’s shop that’s been turned into a swanky ice cream, cake and sweets shop!
Does the architecture of a building have an effect on the lives of the people inside of it? One famous Japanese architect thinks so and we’re pretty convinced now too.
Takaharu Tezuka, a Tokyo-based architect, designed a revolutionary kindergarten building that not only lets the kids run free, but also teaches them about life.
With a population of over 100 million in a land area smaller than California, space is not cheap in Japan. Because of that, many people live in apartments stacked on top of each other, and the idea of living in a house is, for many, just a very expensive dream.
But not anymore! The modern-home companies Yadokari and Azumaya have teamed up to release “Inspiration,” a “minimal house” which they advertize as only costing about the same price as a new car. It’s cute, efficient, built to last, and we want one really badly!
Narita Airport is the Tokyo area’s largest access point for air travelers. This month, the terminal added a new terminal specifically designed for low-cost carriers and budget travelers, but as this sneak peak video shows, affordable can overlap with innovative and stylish, as Terminal 3 is set to prove that you don’t have to spend big to help people travel in ease and comfort.
It’s fairly safe to say that airports are not necessarily everyone’s favorite places to be. There’s often traffic to fight through just to get there, and once inside you have to deal with long lines, painfully slow security checks, and weary travelers who hang their undergarments on the chairs at the gate. In short, airports, especially international hubs, are severely crowded and no fun.
China is setting up to deal with those crowds, however, and is working hard to make its newest airport somewhere that people don’t immediately want to leave. Designs for what will be the biggest airport in the world have recently been unveiled, and it looks like the new gateway to Beijing will be a thing of real beauty.
There’s a lot to love about Tokyo. Aside from the sheer energy of being the most bustling metropolis in Japan, it’s home to some amazing modern attractions, like the Skytree, Ebisu Beer Museum, and RocketNews24 offices.
Still, even we can appreciate the occasional longing for a simpler, slower-paced time. Thankfully, even if you don’t have a time machine, as long as you have access to the capital’s outstanding public transportation network, you can catch a glimpse of Japan’s traditional rural lifestyle at this beautiful open-air museum of thatched-roof houses that’s an easy half-day trip from Tokyo.
Chinese president Xi Jinping is fed up with his country’s fascination with what he calls “weird architecture,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Speaking at a literary symposium in Beijing last week, Xi’s two-hour speech took shot at Chinese architects and artists who have designed avant-garde style buildings.
Instead, he said that art should “be like sunshine from the blue sky and the breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste, and clean up undesirable work styles.”
In other words, the speech was a call for more traditional Chinese art that is patriotic, socialist, and nationalistic at its core.
The interconnectedness of today’s world has been a real boon to artists, scientists, designers, futurists, and pretty much anyone who thrives on the free exchange of ideas. If you asked a kid from South Africa to draw the city of the future, it would be equally likely and unsurprising for her to design futuristic skyscrapers reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa or hobbit hole-like underground eco-houses.
But what if you were from North Korea? What if you didn’t have Internet and had never left your own country? What would the city of the future look like to you?
Yujiapu, in China’s Tianjin Binhai New Area, was modeled on Manhattan and expected to become the financial center of the world. But it languishes as many wasteful Chinese ghost cities have. At one point it was reported that the Juilliard School had signed an agreement to set up an institute in Yujiapu. And there were plans for a Rockefeller and Lincoln Center as well. But construction in this Manhattan hopeful has ground to a halt.
At 634 meters (2,080 ft), Tokyo Skytree is not only the tallest building in Japan, but also the tallest broadcasting tower in the world and second only to the Burj Khalifa in tallest structures. With all that height and no small amount of metal, a building is bound to get some serious love from lightning strikes, but catching that moment on film is easier said than done as a strike usually lasts between 1-2 microseconds.
This week, Twitter user @KAGAYA_11949 managed to get a great shot nonetheless.