Not long ago, Deyan Sudjic, editor-in-chief of the magazine Blueprint, said that Fukuoka is to Japan what Dover is to England: the point of entry to the country and the arriving traveller’s first image of it.
This little city —little according to Japanese megalomaniac parameters— is where Arata Isozaki has organized an international architectural exhibition following the fundamentally Germanmodel of famous operations like the Weissenhof Siedlung of Stuttgart (1927) and the Internationale Bauausstellung of Berlin (from 1980 on). Isozaki —as Mies and Kleihues did before— gathered an assortment of contemporary architects: Michael Graves, Stanley Tigerman, Rem Koolhaas, Christian de Portzamparc, Steven Holl, Mark Mack, Osamu Ishiyama and Oscar Tusquets.
Graves and Tigerman share a block, and the rest are assigned different parcels of another block dominated by two apartment towers designed by Isozaki himself. Oscar Tusquets and Carles Diaz are planning out a housing complex that is so traditional that they have been accused of trying to tickle the sensitivities of Japanese families.
In fact, it consists of four, almost cubic blocks topped by traditional hipped roofs and paired up so as to form two corner houses. However, they are not cants like those of the Barcelona Ensanche. Instead, they form a small angular square that reminds one of Kleihues’s famous block 270 at Berlin’s Vinetaplatz.
The architects’ main concern was to guarantee the entrance of sunlight into the dwellings, a difficult task given the density of Japanese cities. But worthy of note is their endeavor to contribute modestly to the definition of a traditional block, an attitude which contrasts with their renowned fellow-travellers’ frenzied quest for singularity... [+]
Óscar Tusquets y Carles Díaz con Elisenda Tortajada.
Bet Figüeras (paisajista); Valldepérez (vidriería).
Enríe Berenguer y Lluís Casals.