STUDIO 630

Studio630 is the research blog of Kyle Rogler. This blog posts articles of work in architecture, urban design, technology, culture, and programming that currently influence me. Currently stationed at BNIM Architects.
Recent Tweets @
Posts tagged "japan"

Shigeru Ban Named Pritzker Laureate 2014

Unless something happens to boost Japan’s birth rate, its population will shrink by a third between now and 2060. One reason for the lack of babies is the emergence of a new breed of Japanese men - the otaku, who love manga, anime and computers more than sex.

Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolis and home to more than 35 million people, so on the face of it, it is hard to believe there is any kind of population problem at all. But Akihabara, an area of the city dedicated to the manga and anime subculture provides one clue to the country’s problems. Akihabara is heaven for otaku. They are a generation of geeks who have grown up through 20 years of economic stagnation and have chosen to tune out and immerse themselves in their own fantasy worlds. (via BBC News - The Japanese men who prefer virtual girls to sex)

via wildcat2030:

Power Jacket MK3 leaps from comic book pages into reality

In recent years Japan has erected life-sized statues of giant robots like Tetsujin-28 go (Gigantor) and a Gundam mobile suit, but statues can’t defend the island nation from kaiju attack. Perhaps that is why Sagawa Electronics is bridging the gap between fantasy and reality with a working robotic exoskeleton it calls the Power Jacket MK3 that mimics your every move. And it says it will produce up to five of them for about US$123,000 apiece. (via Power Jacket MK3 leaps from comic book pages into reality)

via wildcat2030:

Giant Rice Paddy Artworks Flourish in Japan

Tanbo Art is made by using various types and colors of rice to create giant pictures in the rice fields. It started back in 1993 as a way to revitalize the rice village of Inakadate, in the area of Aomori. For the first nine years, the farmers created a simple picture of Mount Iwaki but the art has now evolved into more complex designs featuring popular characters that appeal to both kids and adults.

Every April, the villagers meet and decide what to plant for the year. They first sketch out the designs on computers and then sow seeds of the varying rice plants. This year, the huge images have crossed the island’s limits and feature a host of awesome designs, including the famous “Ushiwaka and his subordinate Benkei” and Mazinger Z.

Underground Bicycle Parking Systems in Japan

via smartercities:

House H: Turning The Bones Of A Home Into Showpieces

Tokyo-basedHiroyuki Shinozaki Architects designed House H especially for a young couple and their small child looking to set down roots in Chiba, a residential prefecture on the outskirts of Japan’s capital city. “We put a lot of importance on the structure of architecture,” the firm’s Sota Matsuura tells Co.Design. “We hope the family has a relationship with the structure of the house in their daily lives.”

Experimental Japanese Winter Cabin Blends Traditional Methods with Modern Materials
The conventional modern way of building for northern climates often involves synthetic insulation and some kind of mechanical heating — an energy-intensive and inefficient way to live out the winter. For the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, the traditional way of winter-proofed building is called “chise,” referring to a home that is built with earth, clad with bamboo and sedge grasses, with radiantly heated floors and interiors kept warm by a central hearth that is never allowed to go out.
In an experimental project for the Meme Meadows environmental research facility on Japan’s Hokkaido island, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has constructed a dwelling that uses these indigenous principles and combined them with modern materials to create a translucent house that operates in rhythm with natural patterns of light and heating.
Via Treehugger

Experimental Japanese Winter Cabin Blends Traditional Methods with Modern Materials

The conventional modern way of building for northern climates often involves synthetic insulation and some kind of mechanical heating — an energy-intensive and inefficient way to live out the winter. For the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, the traditional way of winter-proofed building is called “chise,” referring to a home that is built with earth, clad with bamboo and sedge grasses, with radiantly heated floors and interiors kept warm by a central hearth that is never allowed to go out.

In an experimental project for the Meme Meadows environmental research facility on Japan’s Hokkaido island, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has constructed a dwelling that uses these indigenous principles and combined them with modern materials to create a translucent house that operates in rhythm with natural patterns of light and heating.

Via Treehugger

Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

via ex-oti-c & aleua:

(via notational)

In 2003 an abandoned basket ball stadium in Osaka Japan, was repurposed into the Namba Parks complex.  Consisting of a high rise office, 120 tenant shopping mall and this lush publicly accessible green roof.

via hedonisticsustainability:

How to Pleasantly Demolish a High-Rise


As the Atlantic Cities best describes, “Leave it to  to turn one of the dirtiest and noisiest processes of the urban lifecycle – the  of highrises – into a neat, quiet and almost cute affair.”

Japanese construction company Taisei Corporation has discovered a new, more efficient way to disassemble, rather than demolish, a tall building over 100 meters. The process, known as Taisei’s Ecological Reproduction System or Tecorep, begins by transforming the structure’s top floors into an enclosed “cap”, which is then supported by temporary columns and powerful jacks. As demolition workers begin to disassemble the building from within, they use interior cranes to lower materials. After dismantling an entire floor, the jacks quietly lower the “cap” and the process is repeated.

“It’s kind of like having a disassembly factory on top of the building and putting a big hat there, and then the building shrinks,” says one Taisei engineer, according to this report in the Japan Times.


Another inspired infill in Japan. On busy arterial in Hiroshima, glass blocks as sound-proof facade, sandwiched between large buildings. By architect Hiroshi Nakamura (nakam.info) 

via blah-city:

Studio beneath the Railway + Step Plaza

Uto Elementary School / CAt


This minimalist elementary school, located in Kumamoto and designed by Japanese architects Kazuhiro Kojima and Kazuko Akamatsu (CAt), is designed to seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor space. Within the building, individual classrooms and spaces are loosely formed by L-shaped walls that feature foldable doors and flexible components. An abundance of courtyards and airy walkways are just some of the highlights, along with a wood deck activity space found on top of the roof.

Video via JA+U.

Sowa Unit / Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio


The site is located in middle of residential district of suburb area, an hour ride with train from center of Tokyo. The project is a facility that supports the rehabilitation of mentally disordered person.


Two approaches of design could be considered for handicap support facility; one is providing protect for what the user is disabled, and the other is stimulate and encourage the disabled part more than usual condition. Extensive discussions with the Client lead the project to take the later approach, to have the space open and encourage the users to get physically and visually connected with other people.


The building is composed with six bands that shift its position one by another. Openings to the direction of street are clearly open while the crossing direction to the neighbor has no widows. This allows the activity and space of the building to be connected each other or to street and town while having appropriate distance and buffer to the adjacent resident. Ceiling at second floor are also shifted vertically so natural light comes through the high side slit window.


Each band have open space and closed core which stole the equipment or having water supply that supports the activity held in open space. These cores stands alternately so that the space is not only being transparent but also has a visually blocked area that user can control the connectivity by shifting his body within the space.


The program with public character such as café, lunchroom, or office work training room are located at street side and gradually turns private toward the end of the building.


The structure is made of reinforced concrete and has exposed finish. We used the normal plywood rather than coated one for the formwork so the graining is transferred and remain as the texture of concrete. Floor material is mortal or tile at 1st floor and wood flooring at 2nd floor. The facility will be full of objects and materials that support the activity, and the architecture was design as simple as possible that becomes the background/canvas of various “colored” activities.

Grow / APOLLO Architects & Associates

This downtown residence, which also houses the working spaces of a husband-and-wife designer couple, is located on an extremely small plot measuring just 65sqm. The cockpit-like office area at the entrance to this home is separated from the garage by a single pane of glass. Opening the garage door to its fullest extent creates a sense of unity between the street and the interior, giving rise to a sort of intermediate zone. The area around the small central courtyard located at the far end of the first floor is filled with diffused light pouring down from the upper levels, projecting a sense of tranquil calm in the adjoining master bedroom.

Going up the spiral staircase leads to a children’s room for the client’s three kids and a large changing room on the second floor. A curtain partitions off the bathroom and utilities. By opening the door to the central courtyard, which is surrounded by concrete walls, the inhabitants can enjoy the sensation of relaxing in an outdoor bath while basking in the light and wind.

On the third floor is the family room, which adjoins the open stairwell. High skylights installed along the walls and on the ceiling make use of the sloping roof, which emerged as a result of the setback limit imposed by the city. A panoramic view of the sky and downtown area is visible from these glass panels, which also allow ample sunlight into the interior. The living room, which features built-in furniture covered in tatami mats, allows the residents to enjoy sitting on the floor, as if they were in a little treehouse.

The balcony next to the kitchen will soon be filled with plants, allowing them to enjoy cooking and preparing food in an open, relaxed environment surrounded by greenery. The rooftop garden, which can be accessed through a rooftop structure, is a genuine urban oasis. This small residence, whose interior brims with a sense of openness that cannot be imagined from the relatively closed facade and its few visible openings, is distinctive for its myriad faces and spatial configurations that can be enjoyed as one moves up and down the different levels.