23 April 2017

co+labo radović  a week of co+labo intensity 1: visit to Atami, before Bruno Taut Symposium  

On April 22 co+labo, together with Prof. Manfred Speidel, architectural photographer Dave Clough and Sugihara-san of Atelier OPA and our visiting fellow from University of Florence, Leonardo Chiesi, headed to Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. After working on the preparations for the upcoming exhibit "West of Japan / East of Europe", dedicated to Bruno Taut's Hyuga Villa in Atami, the purpose of the trip was to visit the building firsthand.
Kyū Hyūga Bettei is the only existing project that Taut realized during his three-year stay in Japan, built in 1936. His project embodies a deeply personal reflection on Japanese architecture, mediated through Taut‘s European sensibility. The result represents a unique example of cross-cultural breeding, which, at the time of its completion, stood at odds with mainstream Modernism in Europe on the one hand, and with the local architectural language on the other.
Close to Hyuga Villa, Kengo Kuma's Water/Glass can be found. As testified by co+labo's interview with him, Taut's project was a major source of inspiration when designing the building. If visitors of Hyuga Villa have commanding views of the ocean, rising like a wall of water, Water/Glass seems to blend in with the horizon and float.
Our next destination was Kiunkaku, a 100-years old villa in eclectic style, surrounding a landscaped garden. This structure is an example of the mix between local traditions and western influences. From this point of view, it aptly fits the concept of "West of Japan / East of Europe".
The trip was rounded off by lunch at Tagaya soba (buckwheat noodles) restaurant in Izu-Taga, housed in a 200 years-old wooden building, overlooking a trim garden. After a glass of Atami sparkling wine and a foot-bath in front of Atami Station, we hopped on the return train bound for Tokyo.                                                                                                (report by Marco Capitanio)
(the above three photos by Dave Clough Photography)

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