Press Release: The Jewels of Japanese Architecture in Japan and Switzerland

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The jewels of Japanese architecture in Japan and Switzerland

contemporary architecture will find their happiness in many places in Japan. For example, on Awaji Island, where Shigeru Ban’s latest masterpiece has recently inspired aesthetes around the world. The “Zenbo Seinei” Temple of Well-being and Meditation rises above the trees revealing a spectacular wooden structure. But for starters, in anticipation of Japan’s reopening to tourism, it is possible to admire the buildings built here by Shigeru Ban and his colleagues. The work of many renowned Japanese architects is present in Switzerland.

“Treetop Zen” promises Shigeru Ban’s new masterpiece on Awaji Island, easily accessible from Kobe City. The Pritzker Prize-winning architect recently designed a meditation complex that impresses with its 100-foot perspective overlooking a fragrant cedar forest. In addition to the wellness program including healthy cooking, tea and incense ceremonies and many other Zen rituals, the use of wood and the abundance of natural light is intended to bring body and mind into harmony with the spirit of the hosts. For its construction, Shigeru Ban used renewable materials and local raw materials. His buildings impress with their simple elegance, they appear light and are flooded with light. Such as the spectacular Swatch headquarters in Bienne or the Tamedia Group building in Zurich. With the creation of “Zenbo Seinei”, Shigeru Ban again experiments with wood as an impressive supporting structure.

Omnipresent in Switzerland: Constructions by Renowned Japanese Architects

At Zurich airport, Riken Yamamoto designed “THE CIRCLE”, the largest and most expensive building in all of Switzerland. It brings different elements such as offices, hotels, meeting rooms and shops together in a monumental whole and thus evokes a Japanese metropolis. Like Yokohama, for example, whose urban landscape Yamamoto has helped to shape include “ROTUNDA” – a residential and mixed-use building from 1987. Fans of Japanese architecture in Switzerland cannot miss the Novartis Campus in Basel: two very big names have left their mark there. left behind: Tadao Ando and Fumihiko Maki. The first, a great master of minimalism and visible concrete, always strives for a symbiosis with the natural environment through its constructions. The triangular laboratory at 28 Fabrikstrasse fits perfectly into the campus. In Japan, the best example of this movement is Ando’s “architecture of silence”, located on the artistic island of Naoshima. Fumihiko Maki designed the Square 3 administrative building for the Novartis campus. He is also one of the masters of Japanese modernism. Maki’s ‘Spiral House’ in Tokyo’s trendy Omotesando neighborhood or MoMAK, the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, which he also designed, attract travelers eager for design and architecture.

International route: from Tokyo to Vals

Photos of another Japanese structure have recently been circulating around the world: the National Stadium for the “Tokyo 2020” Olympic Games, created by Kengo Kuma. During these games, which have been postponed for a year due to the Coronavirus, the oval construction made a strong impression on the screen. The framework is meant to remember the Gojunoto Pagoda near Nara, and the wooden elements convey warmth and a pleasant atmosphere. The renowned architect created a similar atmosphere for the “7132 House of Architects” in Vals. The bedroom he designed, clad in Swiss oak panelling, envelops overnight guests like a cozy cocoon. This hotel also offers a few doors down a room created by Tadao Ando which is a true tribute to Japanese tea houses. He too celebrates a Japanese-inspired aesthetic in the Thermes de Vals.

Related Links

A Short Guide to Japanese Architecture for Switzerland and Japan:

Tadao Ando in Switzerland…

… and some important creations of Tadao Ando in Japan

Shigeru ban in Switzerland…

… and constructions of Shigeru-Ban in Japan

Kengo Kuma in Switzerland…

…and the creations of Kengo Kuma in Japan

Fumihiko Maki in Switzerland…

† and the masterpieces of Fumihiko Maki in Japan

Riken Yamamoto in Switzerland…

… and Riken Yamamoto in Japan,

About JNTO

The Japan National Tourism Bureau (JNTO) was established in 1964 to promote the development of Japanese tourism. JNTO, based in Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, is involved in various national and international activities. Its goal is to bring tourists from all over the world to Japan. JNTO has 24 foreign offices around the world.

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