[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!

The World of Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, Part I

Hey guys! So, after completing the last few posts on the anime No. 6, I’ve decided I kind of like that format, taking a few weeks (or a month) and really diving into the world of a particular series.

Sometimes I get too focused on looking for specific buildings that I forget to look at the overall bigger picture of the series. I have a bit of tunnel vision so to speak (so much so, my firm has noticed and called me out on my ultra-focused ways). So I’ll be proceeding with this format for awhile.

Don’t worry I still have more in-depth pieces about anime and architecture lined up, so that will be coming down the pipeline…hopefully sooner than later.

BUT, without further ado! Let’s jump into some Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis.

The series starts off in a town called Wytearp in episode 1, following our protagonist Favaro and his chaser Kaisar, those names should sound familiar as they’re the humans I described in a previous Man Crush Monday.

Wytearp1.PNG

When I first saw this opening scene, I immediately thought we had to be in some european countryside. There are clearly some roman influences to the city, as these are quite similar to the famous Roman aqueducts that helped transport water to a town.

Wytearp4.PNG

Europe has a lot of hilltop/mountain top towns, I especially looked into Italy, just because …part of the roman influence is rather prominent.

Wytearp5.PNG

Of the first interior shots of the series we’re brought into a pub. And it’s aesthetics is reminiscent of my previous post on Attack on Titan  where I discussed Romanesque properties.

Just as a recap:

  • Romanesque is this style of architecture is often characterized by a large hefty appearance with semi-circular arches and small paired windows, as well as the groin vault. (see link for a more descriptive info on the groin vault).

The town of Wytearp is indeed similar with the use of half-timbering; but instead of the wooden structure being exposed we see more of the stone block construction stacked to create the walls of the building.


That wraps up some thoughts on this edition of Fantasy Friday. (sorry these are such brief posts!)

Let me know if there’s a particular show/episode you’d like me to take a look at! I’m considering taking a poll with suggestions.

[OWLS Blog Tour] Architecturally Grotesque

Hello Archi-Anime lovers and friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in the OWLS blog tour! So without further ado, let’s look at our October prompt!

“Grotesque”

In honor of Halloween, we will explore what we find vile and ugly in pop culture.  For this month’s topic, OWLS bloggers will be exploring characters or aspects of the grotesque in a piece of media and how it is a metaphor or allegory for society, human nature, or some other philosophical or humane idea.

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of horror, I’ve got a weak disposition over it. It takes me days to get back to a normal sleeping routine after watching a horror movie. So, I just try to avoid them as much as possible.

While I’m not familiar with the genre, I can at least appreciate the aesthetics of the “grotesque” in terms of Architecture. When, I first started at my beloved alma mater SCI-Arc, I was really intrigued by one of the professor’s work there as he is exploring the term “grotesque” in terms of architecture.

Grotesque in Architecture

In the architectural world, the grotesque is correlated to the gargoyles you see in Gothic Architecture, or chimera’s that are considered to be decorative sculptural pieces, atop buildings from the medieval ages.

However, the aforementioned professor at SCI-Arc, Hernan Diaz Alonzo, took the meaning of grotesque and tried to apply it to the buildings themselves, as a way to challenge the surroundings. I should probably note, that he was very much inspired by the horror genre.

While the historical grotesque is denoted by sharp edges attributed to Gothic Architecture, Hernan’s work was more fluid in it’s shape, to the point some of the imagery can be unsettling.

Context

Architecture alone can be iconic, but what really helps architecture be iconic is the context of it. Context meaning the place surrounding the building. Integration into its surroundings (to me) creates something more than just a pretty building. Like Hernan’s work, it’s really how the architecture reacts to what’s around it.

The following scenes in anime, not only pose a lot of implications in the building itself, but really add to the context of the scene or the environment.

Berserk (2016), Tower of Conviction

berserk_tower_of_confiction.PNG
screencap via crunchyroll

In Berserk’s season 1, the main setting is the Tower of Conviction, and the surrounding site. It looks to be a fairly simple, straight forward tower, but let’s be real, what happens inside the tower is pretty heinous. The tower is representation of the imposition of religion. The heaviness of the tower, due to it’s materials also creates a daunting atmosphere that is intimidating.

Attack on Titan, Trost/ Shinganshina

attack-on-titan_ep1_shinganshina

In the vast realm of Attack on Titan, one of the most unsettling points of the series is the fact that along the perimeter of the walls, there are small pockets of towns in which majority of the population is gathered. They say that Titans are attracted and drawn in by humanity, hence the pockets allow for the Titans to be concentrated in these areas.

Again, the architecture itself isn’t unsettling (despite being filled with sleeping titans) but the fact that humanity is caged within 50 meter walls in these pocket towns is an unsettling thought, as they’re literally bait for titans.

Voltron (Clone planet, cemetary, organic planet) *

Voltron has several episodes that exemplify the unsettling and grotesque. My favorite example is when Pidge searches for her Father and Brother, and ends up on a planet that’s solely dedicated as a cemetary.

It’s my favorite because, it was depicted as a beautiful landscape, especially when Pidge actually arrives on site. She arrives as the sun is going down, often known as “The Golden Hour” a time of day that has perfect natural lighting.

Its a beautiful planet but gosh, is it unsettling to know that such beauty can be found with such despair.

*sorry guys, I cannot provide images for this particular example due to being unable to 1. find images of it online and 2. screenshots are not allowed via phones. please forgive me!*

Psycho-Pass, Sibyl System HQ

sibyl_system_psycho-pass.PNG
screencap via crunchyroll

The room in which the SIBYL system in itself is inherently grotesque. Basically a ton of brains store in one room run the entire  city of Tokyo. If you haven’t seen Psycho-Pass, I just gave away the major plot in the anime. Honestly, the whole layout of this room kind of makes me laugh, as I’ve had to design a lot of Data Centers at my job, and the fact that this room looks exactly like a data center, is kind of ironic.

sibyl_system_2_psycho-pass.PNG
screencap via crunchyroll

The image above is the exterior of where the SIBYL system is housed, and the exterior is eerie in that the pipes make it look like it has legs like a living breathing organism; a perfect reflection of what the system really consists of.

By the way, I have to plug an oldie but a goodie. Irina did a wonderful post on how to build your own SIBYL system, which is creepy in it’s own right, but in good fun. You should drop by and check it out here.


What are some unsettling, “grotesque” scenes featuring architecture that stand out to you in an anime? Again, the grotesque doesn’t necessarily mean horror, but rather unsettling in it’s theme, context and maybe even some of actual architectural elements.

Let me know what you guys think of grotesque architecture, in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out Matt’s post coming up next.

And in case you missed it, check out Megan’s post here.

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog as well as our YouTube channel! And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

[ANI-Reality] Attack on Titan

Good afternoon ladies and gents.  Welcome back to ANI-Reality! It’s been quite awhile, and I’ve been thinking about this one for quite some time.

Now, I have another Attack on Titan inspired architectural post in the works, but I’m still working out the feasibility of it. But I digress! Would you believe that the world of Attack on Titan is based on something in the real world?

Nordlingen-map
screencap via Google Maps

Nordlingen, Germany,  is one of a the three towns that are still walled left in Germany. However, this town in particular is one of the main inspirations for Shinganshina, the town in which our beloved trio hails from, and where the story kicks off. The other German towns are: Rothenburg ob der Tauber Dinkelsbühl

Nördlingen_009
image via wikimedia
attack-on-titan_ep1_shinganshina
screencap via crunchyroll

City walls back in the days were known as “defensive walls” and as obvious as that is, it’s to protect a town, civilization from any possible attackers. The walls in Attack on Titan are obviously exaggerated, as the walls in Nordlingen are nowhere near as high, but at least the walls in the German town are inhabitable and not filled with Titans.

attack-on-titan_ep1
screencap via crunchyroll

Also, my other architectural fun fact for you guys. The type of Architecture featured in Attack on Titan, is a mix of half-timbering for the homes, while the walls and more civic buildings look to be Romanesque in nature (i.e. Trost District).

attack-on-titan_ep1_jaeger-home
Jaeger home – Shinganshina District, screencap via crunchyroll
Noerdlingen_town_hall_from_Daniel
image via source
  • Half-timbering: is literally as it implies. Timber is used as structural framing for homes, and the spaces in between are infilled with several kinds of materials: brick, stone, tiles, mud. There’s a plaster that covers the infill, and the structure is left exposed.
attack-on-titan_ep1_trost
Trost District, screencap via crunchyroll
  • Romanesque: This style of architecture is often characterized by a large hefty appearance with semi-circular arches and small paired windows, as well as the groin vault. (see link for a more descriptive info on the groin vault).

Germany has been on my bucket list of places to visit. Without a doubt Nordlingen is probably going to be added to my list of things to do in Germany!

I’ll be further exploring the architectural types featured in Attack on Titan in a future post. Keep an eye out for that! 🙂

Have you guys heard of Nordlingen? Or have visited it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this German town.

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”.

medals
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.

Trivia!

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”

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”

Architecture of No. 6 : Points of interest Pt. 2

TGIF everyone! 🙂 Today, marks the final last post of my No. 6 series (sorry Taku!). If this is your first time here you can check out previous posts on No. 6: The City of No. 6The Homes and Gardens of No. 6, and Architecture of No. 6 : Points of InterestOutside the Walls of No. 6

Today’s post looks at two more spots that I have apparently missed throughout this series.

Continue reading “Architecture of No. 6 : Points of interest Pt. 2”

[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.

5C551117-1AA4-4A46-B94D-BF1940E3B508.jpeg
Image via Architectural Digest

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

Continue reading “[ArchiAnime Anecdotes:] Dreamlike Gardens”