March 19th, 2010
It continues to amaze me that the Yoyogi house somehow has maintained traction over the last year and continues to be published in journals. Recently it was in the Korean version of Details magazine, and this month it came out once again in a Korean publication, this one called C3.
The folks at C3 work fast. We gave them the information only a few weeks ago and already we have two copies on the desk.
A beautiful magazine too. Considering the speed they produced it I am seriously impressed. They either don’t sleep or are just that professional. Probably the truth is a bit of both.
This journal is actually mostly interesting for us because it is the first time we are the focus of analysis by a writer.
Usually we provide the text and it is slipped into the magazine without much change along with the images, but this time the editors added an essay that explains why the project is included in the journal to begin with. I know it is not really a big deal, but it is a kind of new threshold for us so I hope you will forgive me if I copy the relevant text here.
The article is called Urban How: Infill and is written by Marco Atzori. It is fairly long, but the relevant bit for us goes like this:
“…And thus internal space or space related to the private realm becomes, in all analyzed cases so far, an element of deep and attentive investigation capable of explicitly highlighting in depth the cultural implications related to social relations that are developed in the contemporary society where the residence is a space of protection from the collectivity. The private and intimate dimension, expresses today as never before the struggle towards getting physically farther, seeking distance, constructing, as it occurs in the presented projects, a self-referential and isolated space: a space for defense.
Even when the building seeks a spatial continuity with its surrounding space, such as in the case of the Yoyogi House of frontofficetokyo, still, the private realm is evidently expressed as a protected universe, separated from a context that is construed as a spatially and socially aggressive one. Is the contemporary residence more than ever a place for individual protection from society and the city?
The Yoyogi House is an example to be examined attentively, as its compositional structure produces a spiral sequence that is based on a filtering landscape, a garden on an inclined plane that is posed in a visual relation to the inside with a series of wide glass planes that open up to the same garden. The focal point is concentrated on the internal courtyard which although it physically creates continuity with its surrounding, it simultaneously pushes away the residents from the city, and identifies a self sufficient universe that sets spatial and temporal perceptions away from the reality that surrounds it. Ans thus it is a protective space that does not necessitate physical separation to assert the distinction between private and public, but simply through courtyard spatial solutions (the inclined plane), asserts hierarchy and distinction between the domain of the intimate and the collective. Just like the other buildings, the main facade does not seek any relation with the outside. The permeability of the inside is opposed with the hardness of the urban facade, expressed in both the use of materials and the limitation of openings, reduced to a single horizontal and continuous window conceived as an engrave on the facade. Unlike the other residences, the front side does not have a primary role; it does not highlight itself as a single unit amidst the urban structure, but through a sophisticated choice, it inserts itself as an additional piece inside the dense and chaotic panorama of the metropolis.”
I won’t say we agree with every point, but it is an interesting comment. What is particularly cool is that we are not required to interpret our own work this time. That is an unexpected kind of freedom.
If interested in the entire article you can download it here (9.65Mb).