Kengo Kuma’s famed Water/Glass project is positioned on a steep hillside in the resort city of Atami in Shizuoka. Sitting directly above Bruno Taut’s Kyu Hyuga Bettei, the contrast between the old and new could not be more distinct, and yet…
As noted on Kengo Kuma and Associates website, “The design of this villa was influenced greatly by “Hyuga” Villa, the sole project which Bruno Taut had left in Japan. The design also gained influences by the philosophies of Taut. Taut’s stay in Japan lasted from 1933 until 1936. Meanwhile, his praise over Katsura Palace was ever-lasting. The reasoning for his commendation lied in the fact that the Palace frames the nature yet frames by being one with nature.
Taut specifically paid attention to mechanisms in Katsura Palace that provoked the framing of nature with nature: the eaves and the bamboo verandas. Thus, in our villa, a layer of water which gently covers the building edges signified bamboo verandas in Katsura. Moreover, a stainless louver that roofs the water signified the eaves. The water surface stretches further out and unites the surface with the Pacific Ocean. And on top of the joined surface, a glass box floats. As the box is super-imposed numerous times, refraction of materials brings in reflections of sorts. The relationship between the subject and the environment is challenged upon in various manners by re-defining and re-shaping the Katsura philosophy, yet always maintaining its fundamental essence.”
Originally built as a private guest house, it is now the ATAMI Kaihourou, a luxury hotel. A rare opportunity was recently presented to photograph its famed Water Balcony, but what I discovered was that from the ground on up, the structure was amazing … and photogenic.
Roppongi was buzzing when Marco Capitanio and I arrived at SuperDeluxe for our joint PechaKucha presentation on Bruno Taut in Japan on April 26th. Here we were to present at THE birthplace of PechaKucha! Great to be introduced and interviewed by co-founders Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein of Klein Dytham architecture. Many thanks to PechaKucha for the images documenting the evening.
To view our six minute and forty second presentation, just click here.
Renowned German architect Bruno Taut lived in Japan in the 1930’s. His only extant project there is the Kyu Hyuga Bettei on a steep hillside overlooking the ocean in the resort city of Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture. I was privileged to have had the opportunity to photograph the villa and subsequently have partnered with Italian architect, Marco Capitanio, to exhibit our collaborative project and present our work at international symposiums. The first was at the University of Venice in 2016, and the second took place in Yokohama, Japan at Keio University’s Hiyoshi Campus. The project is sponsored by co+labo at Keio University and The Formwork at the University of Venice. The Keio students were instrumental in setting up the exhibit and the hanging panels provided a unique visual platform to pair Marco’s drawings and my images. A new addition to the exhibit was a model of the villa at 1:50 scale made by the Keio students.
I was honored to present at the accompanying symposium with distinguished guests…Bruno Taut scholars, Professor Manfred Speidel and Professor Tatsuaki Tanaka, Yoshihiro Takishita (President of The Association for Preserving Old Japanese Farmhouses), Sumiko Enbutsu, author and member of the Bunkyo Link for Architectural Preservation, along with Marco Capitanio and Professor Darko Radovic of co+labo at Keio University.
Next up are two more exhibits … Suzhou, China and Milan, Italy in the fall…stay tuned.
Rockland Photographer Dave Clough to Exhibit in Japan, China and Italy
Encore show focuses on renowned Japanese villa
ROCKLAND, Maine – April 17, 2017 – Images by Rockland-based architectural photographer Dave Clough of German architect Bruno Taut’s Kyu Hyuga Bettei in Japan will come full circle when Clough displays them at a public exhibition on Keio University’s Hiyoshi Campus in Yokohama later this month.
Clough’s images of Taut’s renowned villa were featured at an exhibition in Venice last fall alongside new, complete drawings of Taut’s design by Italian architect Marco Capitanio.
The Venice show, titled West of Japan / East of Europe, received such an enthusiastic response that it will be mounted again not only in Yokohama April 26 through May 2 but also in Suzhou, China, and Milan, Italy, this fall.
Curated by Capitanio, the exhibit reveals how the villa, located in Atami, marries Taut’s personal reflection on Japanese architecture with his European sensibility. Juxtaposed drawings and pictures help visitors distinguish between the project’s form and proportion and its materials, textures and colors.
The exhibition is being organized by co+labo Radovićat Keio University, where Capitanio is a PhD candidate, and the Formworkcultural association, with assistance from Professor Darko Radović and professor Marko Pogacnik from the Formwork / IUAV.
As in Venice, the exhibit will be accompanied by an international symposium about Kyu Hyuga Bettei and other projects that relate to designing for and within a foreign culture. Clough and Capitanio will be among the symposium’s presenters, along with Taut scholars Professor Manfred Speidel from Germany and Professor Tatsuaki Tanaka from Japan, as well as Yoshihiro Takishita, president of the Association Preserving Old Japanese Farmhouses, and Sumiko Enbutsu, an author who belongs to the Bunkyo Link for Architectural Preservation.
“It has been amazing to connect with these experts on Japanese architecture and to learn how much they respect Bruno Taut’s legacy,” says Clough, who became fascinated with traditional architecture in Japan while living there for 10 years. “Through my collaboration with Marco I have discovered the deep respect scholars have for Taut’s work in general and Kyu Hyuga Bettei in particular. As a unique blend of Japanese and German sensibilities it doesn’t attract everyone’s interest, but those in the know are very supportive of our efforts to make more people aware of it.”
Clough and Capitanio’s work has drawn attention from the Royal Institute of British Architects, which will include one of Clough’s photos and a drawing by Capitanio in the 21st Edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s World History of Architecture, which the Institute is publishing in partnership with the University of London.
About Dave Clough
Dave Clough provided all the color photography for Homes Down East: Classic Maine Coastal Cottages, released by Tilbury House Publishers in 2014.He is currently taking photographs for a second Tilbury House publication, a how-to book by Scott T. Hanson on rehabilitating historic homes to function in the 21st century while retaining their historic character. Clough also photographs for Mainebiz publications and serves commercial clients including architects, designers, builders, hotels, restaurants, real estate firms, and homeowners.
About Marco Capitanio
Marco Capitanio studied architecture at theMendrisio Academy of Architecture(CH) and urban design at TU Berlin and at Tongji University Shanghai, where he completed his master’s degree in 2012. His professional experiences span from the architectural scale (construction drawings and detailed design in Switzerland and Japan) to the urban dimension (large developments and masterplans in China). Marco is a research assistant and PhD candidate at Keio University. His work focuses on liveability of the built environment, especially at the neighborhood scale, a topic he has investigated in Europe and China.
For more information on West of Japan, East of Europe exhibit in Venice, click here.
I was recently contacted by the Royal Institute of British Architects. They are partnering with the University of London to produce the 21st edition of “Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture”. As described in RIBA’s press release, “Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture is the world’s acknowledged classic work of architectural history reference. Since the first edition was published in 1896, it has been declared the ‘Book of the Century’ by the American Institute of Architects and has become essential reading for generations of architects and students. This tradition continues today, with the 21st Edition set to provide the most comprehensive global history of architecture available in any form.”
I am pleased and excited to announce that one of my photographs of Bruno Taut’s Kyu Hyuga Villa has been selected for the 21st edition published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Also included will be Italian architect Marco Capitanio’s section drawing of the villa shown below. For details on the 21st edition, view RIBA’s press release here. Publication is set for 2018.
Look for the exhibition and symposium with Marco Capitanio, “West of Japan, East of Europe” to open in Tokyo, Japan in April, Suzhou, China, and Milan, Italy in the fall of 2017.
On March 17th, Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii performed at the Rockport Opera House. Maine was his third to last stop on his North American tour and I had the honor and pleasure of assisting Peter Rosen Productions in the filming of an upcoming movie on this remarkable musician.
Nobuyuki Tsujii was a joint gold medal winner of the 2009 Van Cliburn Award and the subject of two earlier Peter Rosen Productions movies (A Surprise in Texas, and Nobuyuki Tsujii, Live at Carnegie Hall, both are extraordinary films). Nobuyuki’s Rockport performance, a program of Debussy and Chopin, was a magnificent display of his incredible talent, skill and musicianship. He dedicated the performance to Van Cliburn who recently passed away, and to the victims and families of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The concert concluded with a piece he composed in memory of the victims of the disaster.
If ever you have the opportunity to see Nobuyuki Tsujii perform, consider yourself lucky if you can get tickets and go…Spectacular!
I was fortunate enough to have travelled back to Japan in 2011. In my meanderings and wanderings about and around Tokyo and vicinity, I was rewarded with a wide variety and seemingly disparate forms of Japanese architecture, thus the contrasting images below. From traditional minka to modern apartment complexes, hotels to residences – modern and otherwise…
Kiun-Kaku in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, was originally built by shipping magnate, Shinya Uchida, in 1919. It was updated by the industrialist and lover of the arts, Kaichiro Nezu, in the early 1930’s. The compound is just under 10,000 square feet and overlooks a magnificent garden on a gently sloping hillside. A mixture of refined Japanese elegance and Western architecture as evidenced by a Tudor-style guest room, and an art deco themed sun lounge…the epitome of luxury from a bygone era. Later converted to a ryokan (Japanese inn) in 1947, it was a favorite retreat for many of Japan’s most famous writers including Yukio Mishima, Junichiro Tanizaki, Osamu Dazai and Yasunari Kawabata.
In Shizuoka Prefecture, in the shadow of Mount Fuji, high on a hill overlooking Sagami Bay in Atami City, is a Japanese villa of special significance. Special advanced arrangements were made on my behalf to have a private showing of this historic property by Atami City officials. Their kindness and cooperative efforts are very much appreciated.
The villa is a below ground annex designed in 1936 by renowned German architect, Bruno Taut. Taut was a lover of Japanese culture and nature. The Kyu Hyuga Bettei is his overly successful attempt to find harmony with his work and nature. Seen from the ground level, there is only a lawn with a tall retaining wall on a very steep hillside. It is below this lawn that Taut designed and built his annex in which he sought to express something Japanese and something Western as well. The annex is composed of three main rooms, the Beethoven room (guest room), the Mozart Room (Western style), and the Bach Room (Japanese style). The villa remains as it was originally built, with fastidious care being taken to preserve all original furnishings and building materials.
With the use of additional lighting strongly frowned upon, I chose to capture the rooms in their natural light – the challenge being very strong natural light streaming in on one side and a very dark interior on the other side. A few photos from the day are below.