[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: House for a Photographer

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Archi-Anime Anecdotes. Where I try to add back in the architectural side of my life to the blog in a non-anime related post.

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a spectacularly long time; and I’m trying to clean-up the drafts (but believe me they just keep piling!)

I think at this point it’s safe to say my architectural likes are also japanese influenced. So today, I want to share a home that stood out to me when I had been perusing Archdaily awhile ago.

Original Article:

House for a Photographer / FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

©Yoshihiro Asada via ArchDaily


Due to copyright stuff, I won’t be posting a ton of images of this house, but you can check out the link above for the gallery.

I’d just like to point out what I really like about the design and the aesthetics.

Modern Japanese architecture can  usually be characterized by the minimalism in both materials and right lines and sharp angles. You won’t necessarily crazy out there designs in Japan because they focus more on the utility and efficiency of a space. They make the most of their small footprint and I really love that. I wish I could live a more minimalist lifestyle but alas, I really enjoy my ‘stuff’ (*cough* anime merch *cough*)

This makes me think of Wabi-sabi; a world view that was a reaction in the post 15 century that focused on the importance and acceptance of transience and/or imperfection. It is a reaction to the rich materials and lavish lifestyle that was prevalent in japanese culture.

This house features long linear hallways that serve as gallery spaces. And there are two types of spaces that really stand out to me: the white spaces and then the wooden spaces. The largest space (atelier) is definitely a workshop type area, and a place to host. Further into the house theres’s a gallery that gives off that pristine professional gallery feel, but as you move deeper into the house into the more personal intimate spaces, the material shifts to wood which gives an inviting warmth to the home. A definite contrast to the “photographer” space. I also like that the little workshop area is mixed materials of wood and white, since the workspace is where you organize your work and lay things out, it makes sense that materials for both creating a comfortable space while maintaining a professional space intermingles so well.

I also think that all the openings into spaces are well planned out and picturesque in that they frame what is beyond perfectly. The wide sliding door that opens to the outside is also a perfect backdrop as the linear gallery wall is what’s beyond. The hallway leading to the opening gallery space features a skylight that filters light down casting a very pretty effect on the wall behind. It seems that i really love straight lines and sharp angles; which is the opposite of what my thesis was about when I was in school.

I really enjoyed writing and analyzing what I loved about this particular project, and hope you guys did too. I’ll try to write more in this style for future posts, as I hope they are somewhat educational to my readers.

If there was any archi-speak that didn’t make sense please let me know, I’d be happy to indulge more on what I meant.

I also mentioned wabi sabi very briefly and would like to expand more on the aesthetics of japanese architecture and design just because it’s super interesting to me, so I guess you can be on the look out for those kinds of posts in the near future as well.

Till next time!

2018 Pritzker Prize Winner

Time to revive some Architectural content!

A bit late to share this but, every year in May there’s an Architect that is awarded the prestigious “Pritzker Prize”.

image via source
What is the Pritzker Prize?

“To honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. “Source

A Brief History of the Pritzker Prize

“Jay and Cindy Pritzker believed that a meaningful prize would encourage and stimulate not only a greater public awareness of buildings but also would inspire greater creativity within the architectural profession.”Source

It’s almost the Nobel Peace Prize equivalent for Architecture, as a lot of the rewards that come with the Prize are similar to the former.


Only one woman has earned the Pritzker Prize as a solo Architect. Other women that have been awarded have been part of a team or a duo, I’ve written about her before on here: Zaha Hadid.

2018’s Pritzker Winner: Balkrishna Doshi

image via source

While I’m not overly familiar with Doshi’s work. I appreciate his manifesto in which architecture should be socio-centric with an emphasis on it’s usage versus the flashiness of the architecture. He sticks to sustainability while focusing on the actual context of his work.  While I love flashy otherworldly architecture, I definitely have an affinity for simple, straightforward usable space. I also have an affinity for Architect’s who use their history and culture to influence their work.

You can read more about Doshi on the Pritzer Prize website found here.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope that the Pritzker Prize was informational for you non-architecture geeks!

If you’re interest in any more architectural posts, you can definitely find a list here.

Thoughts, ideas about this post? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

I’d really love to add more architectural analysis and what not to the blog, so please consider buying me a ko-fi to help fund my book collection to draw references from!(end shameless plug)

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

A Design So Beautiful it Hurts

..So beautiful it hurts….literally. As a Silicon Valley resident for who as many years as I can remember, and as a lover of beautiful design and architecture, I just had to share this piece of news with you guys.

Apple Park rendering © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple via ArchDaily

I’m not sure how many of my readers actually keep up with Apple aesthetics or architecture in general. But the Architecture Firm Fosters + Partner’s opened the doors to their futuristic UFO also known as Apple Park Campus sometime in 2017. This piece of Architecture has been talk of the tech and architectural world right there next to fellow tech giants Google and Facebook, and possibly one of the last things Steve Jobs had approved of before his untimely passing.

I have to say, I’m quite lucky to live in the bay in which these tech giants have grown and thrived over the years, and also surrounded by the architecture they inhabit. Granted, I’m not sure I’ll ever get to step foot in some of these building, but who knows, maybe one day I will.

The rumors had already been circulating at my firm months prior to the release of the news report of “incidents” occurring within the new Apple Park Campus.

Original Post: 
Apple staff repeatedly walk into glass walls at Foster-designed campus, claim sources

While I have mostly been featuring mind-boggling architecture, of wild shapes and forms. Ideally though, I love the minimalist design approach. Clean lines, surfaces and edges (even though my thesis tries to blur these boundaries) and modern white boxes are totally my thing (even though I really despise the color white in my wardrobe).

And while I have an affinity for beautiful minimalism Apple Park Campus may be the pinnacle of this clean design aesthetic it, but gosh, is it problematic!

There’s something so incredibly ironic about this futuristic ring of glass.

Glass. ALL THE GLASS! Not just glass, but SEAMLESS glass! Can you imagine a continuous surface of glass? There’s no indicator of where it ends or begins. So, while glass is beautiful and makes a statement, it is NOT intended to be a wall. IT’S JUST. NOT. PRACTICAL. So yes, I’m laughing at the irony of this situation. Obviously, I’m not laughing at those that are suffering injuries, but this is seriously one of those moments where the client and architect are clearly not thinking about the users and the space.  It’s ironic that the creators of the iPhone would create walls upon walls of glass with no indicators of edges that their employees walk into the walls which cause in injuries (i.e. broken noses).

Image via Dezeen

Think about it, people running around this office on their cellphones trying to get to their next meeting, which is probably 180 degrees from where they’re standing due to the building layout: a ring for goodness sake! Having to run along the circular path is most likely going to cause issue, especially if you have back to back meetings where the rooms are really far apart. Let’s think about those people running through this glass building again, but this time they’re running around with their cellphones in their hands, checking where their next meeting is, replying to e-mails or texts, distracted. This is how you people injure themselves and end up breaking their noses because of glass.

But wait, there’s another side to it. Okay, okay. I’m giving the designers a hard time, I’m also going to blame this on the client because at the end of the day, it’s what the client wanted. It’s what Apple wanted, and at the end of the day the customer is always right. Sure we can help them understand the code of how things can and can’t be built. We can express the problems that may arise, but really, the client still decides what they want. It’s their money to do with what they will.

Apple Park Headquarters Jony Ive Silicon Valley California Interview
Photo taken by Jony Ive via HypeBeast

I should probably also mention that despite the impracticality of it all, I can see and understand the concept that’s on display with creating multi-level ring. In creating an open office that is an permanent loop, you’re forcing the users in space to engage with one another. The open office floor plan allows for communication to be more open and free. There are no walls, no cubicles that block human interaction from one another. So in an effort to create more human interaction in the tech-world, the best way to get people to engage with one another is to create a literal circular circulation that everyone HAS to walk through. I guess it could stimulate cross-department thinking, that is, if you’re the friendly type. But you know, that’s just another debate for another day (how these technology companies are set-up). I also get that that

Even if it’s trying to get LEED certification (which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for being a “green sustainable” building, it boasts more about it’s technology than addressing any real issues. For a building that claims to be helping the environment, it’s actually doing the opposite. Reports say that while the building occupies 3.4 Million Square Feet in terms of office and laboratories, car packs occupy about 3.5 Million Square Feet (including, 11,000 parking spaces, which by the way is STILL impacted – as told by my co-worker’s husband who works at the new building). You can’t boast about a green building when you’re still relying on your employees to get there via car versus any types of public transportation. I seriously wonder how that’s going to get approved by LEED (I still haven’t found any solid proof that it was approved).

Now, I know I’m kind of bashing on this building, but for good reason; at the end of the day it’s beautiful. I won’t deny that at all.  However, I can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that it’s loaded with impracticality.

What do you guys think of the Apple Campus? I know there’s a visitor’s center, I should probably hit that up one day and take some photos to post here. I’d love to hear your comments/thoughts in the comments below!

Gundam Architecture

That’s right. You read that right. Gundam Architecture!

Today’s post was inspired by my podcast group. I was griping about work last week, and asked if anyone wanted to take over my job. Granted they started spouting random architectural ideas that just didn’t sound safe and about what kind of place they would design. Reading their random thoughts about architecture and design, a light bulb went off in my head. I was going to find architecture regarding what was spoken about in the group chat.

This post is dedicated to Scott from MechanicalAnimeReviews.com, as it was when I asked if he’d design a gundam-styled building that inspired this post. Because, yes. It exists! Continue reading “Gundam Architecture”

Modular Living, Montreal Style

In the continuing spirit of last week’s Tokyo Noir in which I discussed a little bit about the Nakagin capsules. Fellow blogger and podcaster, and the now trio to me and Mel, Irina had followed me up with, “do you know of Habitat 67?” to which I replied, “of course I do!” but it a non-archisnob kind of way (I hope).

Days after she asked me this, I was perusing one of my favorite design websites, and lo and behold, Habitat 67 had made an appearance, but instead of a Noir-style photoshoot, it was featured in a more intimate setting. So, that being said, this post is dedicated to Irina & Mel. This is for you, my Canadian buddies, who love to appeal to the nerdy “archi-snob” (as Irina had so affectionately named me once) in me.

Revisited Habitat 67 by James Brittain
Habitat 67 via Dezeen, photographed by James Brittain

Continue reading “Modular Living, Montreal Style”

Tokyo Noir

Good afternoon ladies and gents. I’m sharing some photography for today’s Archi-Anime Anecdote. I’ve also come to realize, this segment may feature more Japanese Architecture news, history, etc. I’m just so in love with everything Japan! Also, for those of you new to the segment, these anecdotes are to give you a peek into my architectural mind. Also, to reveal a little bit more about myself and my own personal design aesthetics. What I find pretty, interesting, and graphically eye-catching out side of the buildings itself.

Nakagin Capsule Tower via Dezeen, photographed by Tom Blachard

Continue reading “Tokyo Noir”

[ArchiAnime Anecdotes:] Dreamlike Gardens

I’m back with a non-anime related post! Shocking I know, Zel isn’t fangirling about a Bishie or a sport anime for that matter! BUT, let’s be real, I can fangirl just about anything I have an interest in.

I had saved this draft a long time ago in an attempt to schedule a month’s worth of blog posts to make-up for my month long absence for studying, and to be completely honest, trying to plan a month’s worth to schedule within a span of two weeks was highly improbable for me on top of work and became way too stressful, so I have a ton of drafts I started, and this one unfortunately fell by the wayside.

For those that aren’t familiar with Archi-Anime Anecdotes, this is a segment of my blog that ended up becoming essentially a spin-off from my Take-Two! Tuesday posts as I felt that there had to be a bit more definition between the anime/otaku stuff my other half: architecture. At first I wanted this to be a collection of articles, but I’ve found that highlighting a particular article gives a bit more insight as to who I am as a designer in this field.

Image via Architectural Digest

That being said, I had to share this particular article:

Continue reading “[ArchiAnime Anecdotes:] Dreamlike Gardens”

[ArchiAnime Anecdotes]: Literal Lego House

Hey hey hey! I’m back with more fun Architectural content!

Today’s feature is a bit of a fun post! How many of you played with Legos as a kid? Ah the imagination of a kid with legos! Did you ever build a house that you wanted to live in one day? What is this? A center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read… if they can’t even fit inside the building? If you got that quote, you win major brownie points.

Imagine your lego house being put under an enlarging ray! That’s exactly what Danish Architect Bjarke Ingles did at his firm BIG.

Continue reading “[ArchiAnime Anecdotes]: Literal Lego House”

[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Anime Architecture Exhibit

Hello fellow anibloggers and friends!  I have a special piece of news/anecdote for you this week! Since I decided to do this new segment, I’ve been diving back into the world of architecture and found this little gem.


In August, London’s The House of Illustration, launched an exhibit called Anime Architecture, in which art from famous Anime films is on display. Films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell are featured in this exhibit. Art done by Takashi Watabe, Mamoru Oshii and Atsushi Takeuchi are also featured in the gallery. The exhibit was until September 10, 2017. Damn, this post came a bit late. I had meant to publish this sooner, but you know…life…

Continue reading “[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Anime Architecture Exhibit”

[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Thom Mayne


Thom Mayne, of the firm Morphosis, is one of the Architect’s that is a key component in the what Architecture has become in the modern era. He is what we would call a “starchitect”, a famous Architect that’s recognized outside of the realm of Architecture. Basically on the same level as a Hollywood celebrity. There are very few “starchitects” who have a heavy influence and presence in the scene.

Continue reading “[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Thom Mayne”