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Open Encyclopedia 未完の百科事典

Content Preface Abstraction Connection of space The Cube Dynamic Extraordinary The Fissure Frontality Functional Space F-Space Metabolism Multiple Spaces Naked State Ornamental Space Spatial Division Static Symbolic Space Uncertainty Verticality Projects list Image references Bibliography

抽象 連結 直方体 動的 非日常性 亀裂 正面性 機能空間 F空間 新陳代謝 多様性 裸形 装飾空間 分割 静 象徴空間 不確かさ 垂直性

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46

Preface The starting point of this analysis was the choice of keywords from Shinohara’s text. The keywords represent his conceptions and are directly taken from his vocabulary. Shinohara occasionally defines these keywords, using self-referential and self-reflexive means. Our selection of keywords is put in a fixed framework in which we try to find both the relation between the words, as well as their autonomous meaning and relevance. This framework is fixed in the sense that it tries to capture ideas which were operative during and around the Second Style, so within a specific timeframe. Shinohara’s writings are used as the primary source for this analysis. The construction of his theories in words, in his essays and project descriptions, are of great, if not essential, importance to the meaning and relevance of his built works. The houses are physical manifestations of his thinking and fundamental to concretize his, often abstract or ambiguous, words. Through the reflection of text on these houses, we attempt to derive the meaning of his conceptions; the definitions of his vocabulary. This analysis approaches Shinohara’s texts as a design, composed of deliberate and sensible use of words, which can be seen as carefully chosen building blocks for the construction of his thoughts. The goal of this work is to acquire an understanding of the development of Shinohara’s conceptions during his Second Style. The transitions into, and from the Second Style are addressed as an integral part of this exercise. The conceptions that originated in the First Style have shown to provide a solid foundation for the evolution of his thinking in the Second Style. The conceptions of the Second Style, in their turn, provide a frame of reference to reflect on the shifts that occurred during the introduction of the Third


Style. With this work we want to provide a set of meanings that offer a base to develop further implications on these shifts. Our analysis includes the following texts, written by Shinohara: The Japanese Conception of Space, The Three Primary Spaces, A Theory of Residential Architecture, Architectural Theory for 16 houses, Beyond Symbol Space-An Introduction to Primary Spaces as Functional Spaces, When Naked Space is Traversed, The Third Style, Anthology 1958-1978, A Program for the ‘Fourth Space’. Throughout the iterative process of this analysis, the selection of keywords has been modified. After building up a collective knowledge and familiarity with Shinohara’s writings, we have made an attempt to both individually and collectively produce a meaning or definition for each keyword. Through discussions, we reflected on these meanings and revised them. The goal of this is to be able to present our mutual understanding of the meaning of these keywords, as a product of our work, as well as a tool that can be used, altered or extended. We provide an open encyclopedia consisting of these keywords that have been selected from Shinohara’s text. The open encyclopedia should work as a tool, not only for understanding the meaning of the words and their interrelation, but also for reading the houses within the chosen timeframe. Conceptions, or keywords, play a fundamental role in Shinohara’s buildings. The keywords are strongly linked to his methods of design. We believe that the keywords are in fact, for him, the most essential design tool. This open encyclopedia is an effort, to create an applicable tool for that same purpose.





Shinohara’s dealing with Japan’s traditional architecture is not on an emotional, but on a theoretical level. It’s not about creating commonly established social-historical and sociocultural images and atmospheres. They would fail suiting to contemporary conditions. The theoretical level can be found in his abstract designing methods. In his first style houses this abstract methods are mostly the fundamental principles of Japanese spatial composition, which he calls the method of dichotomy or division of space, and the method of frontality by creating a space of the gaze. In the second style houses the degree of abstraction even increased. As a start in his search for neutral space or a space of his own, Shinohara introduce the method of the cube in combination with the fissure space. The compositing method shifted from the traditional division of space towards the non-divided-plan, and verticality, which is not common in traditional Japanese architecture, played now an important role. Although some could see similarities to western designing principles, Shinohara’s new methods, and especially the use of the cube, are different from those used in Modern Architecture, as he doesn’t refer to their mainly rationally thoughts. Together with the concept of the fissure space, it is an abstraction that belongs particularly to him.



Connection of space


Shinohara recalls the division of space contrasts directly with the European method in which the basic approach is the connection of a number of simple units. This can be read in his Architectural Theory for 16 houses published in 1971: “I also developed the view that another principle of spatial composition, one called ‘The connection of space’, the opposite of division of space, is to be found as one of the principal techniques in the tradition of European architecture. The planning techniques centering on the tracing of man’s movements, one of the fundamental planning techniques of modern architecture, is obviously an extension of the connection of space, not the division of space”



The Cube


By an different approach to the european Modernists, Shinohara develops at the end of his First Style the primary and abstract volume of a white cube from the abstraction of the traditional Japanese space. However, the cube represents an emancipation regarding this tradition since it is an equal multiface and therefore non frontal volume. The cube is a pure geometrical volume, with regular angles Shinohara later qualifies a naked form. In the Second Style the cube is the inherent complementary volume to the fissure.





In the later works of the Second Style, non-traditional elements with a dynamic concept, such as corridor and connection room can be found. The reason is Shinohara’s use of non-divisional plan composition. In these works, frontality has therefore lost its former vital role. Time and location of the viewer are instead of great importance. Space has taken on a multiple appearance to produce a continuous capturing of space, resulting in a dynamic quality.





Shinohara’s use of culturally and emotionally charged materials in an unusual context, like gold and bronze, is an attempt to reverse the feelings and transform his own space in something abstract and extraordinary. The extraordinary space is a kind of reintroduction of the irrational, until it moves back into the realm of conventionalities, into the common and rational. This process of rationalize the irrational changes the world every time a bit. It can be seen as a reflection of a strange Japanese, sociocultural phenomena, in which the gap between the tradition of popular acceptance and the true tradition is revealed. This move of intersecting the gap of Japanese consciousness by always building extraordinary spaces is essential in Shinohara’s work.



The Fissure


The fissure space is somehow contradictory as it is a space of division and separation as well as connection and continuity. On the one hand it cuts the abstract cubic volume in the middle into two and refers to the bisection and separation of a house interior, on the other hand the fissure space relates to the connection and addition of rooms. It often contains the stairs or serves as a part of the vertical linking and further more as a powerful visual connection. The fissure space is most widely deliberated from function, character and meaning. This multiple space is dynamic, as it depends on time and the location of the viewer. It has multiple appearances, it’s a space with many natures, and is thus open to individually based perceptions and interpretations. This use of a kind of mostly undefined and irrational, but volumetric very clearly definite space can be seen as a vehicle or method to attend to deal with the uncertain, irrational aspects of mans consciousness. This including of irrational aspects is a way of criticizing the ideologies of functionalists and rationalists as well as metabolists, who denied any importance of undefined function and irrationality.





In Japanese’s traditional and contemporary architecture and sculptural art, the full frontality, or the concept of “space of the gaze”, plays an extremely important role. Shinohara refers to Frontality and Multiple Spaces as modes for composing and reading space. From a specific point, a (sequence of) space(s) is conceived by the observer as a whole, at once, thus generating a powerful sense of tension; everything seems to fall into place properly. This conception of frontality accompanies Shinohara’s First Style works consistently. The absence of movement emphasizes the static quality of this architecture. Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s photograph of the main room of the old Shoin in the Katsura Imperial Villa shows a sequence or “layeredness” of spaces. From this single point of observation, one can take in at once the whole splendid composition. The main room in House in White shows a similar quality. The simple rectangular outline of the traditional Japanese floor plan, which Shinohara refers to as Spatial Division, is deeply connected to this Frontality. From the Second Style, there is a fundamental shift in perception of, and the movement through, space. The concept of Multiple Spaces allows the observer to discover a multiplicity of perceptions and natures of space



Functional Space


For Shinohara, functional space is a basic and primitive notion, inclusive of hardship, unpleasantness and danger. As such, it could scarcely represent the apotheosis of architecture, as Giedion and other modernists hoped to imply.





Since the word Functionalism itself might lead to misunderstandings, Shinohara uses in its place something like F spaces, a neutral teem that carries no specification of content. “By functional I do not imply the old-fashioned, much soiled and handled Functionalism of the post-Second-WorldWar period. No more do I look forward to a revival of that movement. I am instead talking about the something new that is being born of the repeated tension and labor involved in the process of developing houses that I have just completed and those that I am currently working on.” 1 1

Shinohara K. (1971) Beyond Symbol Space: An introduction to primary spaces. In Japan Architect, 81.88.





The shift in Shinohara’s work during his Second Style cannot be seen separate from the social and technological changes that occurred at that time. Shinohara criticized the Metabolist movement and denied both the possibility and effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention in cities. As opposed to the Metabolists, who aspired to create a collective built environment, Shinohara took a more personal and nondogmatic approach to design the house, focusing his work on Man, rather than society. The certainties that are evoked by the Metabolists are, in Shinohara’s opinion, vanishing from Man’s daily life. The ideology and method of design should instead conform to the increase of uncertainties. The act of conforming to uncertainties is revealed in a secure spatial form, such as the fissure spaces in the Shino House and Uncompleted House. Shinohara also criticizes design methods by means of a metabolic process. In his opinion this is not the task of the architect, but rather that of technological society. He insists on creating something eternal, something that can deal with uncertainties rather than, like the Metabolists, attempting to comply with certainties.



Multiple Spaces


With his concept of Multiple Spaces, Shinohara breaks with his earlier approach of the plan; the Spatial Division system. Instead of a continuation on the traditional Japanese plan, Shinohara intends to make the spaces as abstract as possible. In the First Style Shinohara often started his spatial composition with setting aside the living spaces, the daily life zone, from the main space. Part of the Multiple Spaces concept is to include the living spaces in the spatial composition, with the goal to give them a more concrete nature. Shinohara now pays more attention to the composition of the living zones to improve the operability of the entire composition. Through this shift to compound, or mixture, spatial composition Shinohara tries to confront and comply to uncertainties. Multiple Spaces also refers to a space’s multiplicity of appearances; a variety of natures. The perception of space is strongly dependent on the time and location of the observer; Man. The image of space becomes a second-bysecond phenomenon since the spatial construction is taking as its basic pattern disconnected linking. In the Second Style, it seems that Man, the subject gains a more important role for the interpretation of space. When we look at the presentation of the projects that deal with these Multiple Spaces, we can see a great shift from static to dynamic visual capturing of space. The photographs by Koji Taki show just one of many possibilities or natures of the space. The Fish-eye lens tries to capture this sense of multiplicity. Verticality draws the eye of the observer, Man, and hereby catalyzes the creation of continuity of space.



Naked State


Naked forms and naked spaces are raw spatial elements, which, at first, have no other meaning rather their own function or existence. Shinohara refers to it as he wants to build something “unexceptional”. At the end of the Second Style, Shinohara begins to focus on these neutral, cold and dry spatial elements – the cube as a pure geometrical volume or the bearing element – and their association as an opportunity to eventually generate various and unexpected meaning.



Ornamental Space


Shinohara refers the ornamental space of architecture to the one, which develops from ornamental principles into structural principles. And for the category ornamental space, Shinohara cites the European phenomenon of Art Nouveau, which he construes rather simplistically, if understandably from a Japanese point of view, then only as an outgrowth of the Baroque.



Spatial Division


“Arises from the Japanese architectural tradition of insisting on a simple rectangular outline” 1 “If several straight lines cross each other at right angles within a simple figure such as a rectangle or square, the space is divided. The geometric pattern created through such an operation becomes a plan of architecture or a house.” 2 1

Shinohara K. (1971) Beyond Symbol Space: An introduction to primary spaces. In Japan Architect, 81.88. 2

Shinohara K. (1971) Architecturay Theory for 16 Houses. In 16 no jutaku to kechikeron (pp.11-14). Tokyo Bijutsu Shuppansha.





In the early First Style of Shinohara, a spatial composition can be found, which according to himself can be derived from Japanese architectural tradition. With the process of spatial division, subdividing void into smaller units, his earlier work rarely took human movement in consideration. This can be emphasized by the lack of any kind of solely circulation serving spaces, such as corridors or connecting rooms. The result was termed by Shinohara as a static quality, meaning that the architecture dictates the viewpoints instead of the observer, producing a discontinuous series enforcing the notion of frontality.



Symbolic Space


Shinohara defines that the symbolic space emerges of the exchanging process with the mental structure when producing a physical space. He sets the Pyramids in Eygpt as a significant example, while also admitted that they have such function that actually they cannot be seen as pure symbolic space. He goes on to comment that the Japanese are weak in ornamentation, perhaps meaning that Japanese ornament is strongly conventionalized, adding that, by contrast, “we [Japanese] live in a perfect deluge of the [shared] symbolic.” And experimenting on symbolic space becomes one of his main topic in his First Style.





By accepting uncertainties as a part of Man‘s interior and exterior life, like unpredictable market crashes and the unstable human mind and heart show consistently, and by translating this specific notion into the reality of the house, Shinohara attempted to break out of any Functionalist or Rationalist dogma, of pure rationalism und certainty. This can first be found in his projects relating to Japanese tradition. To mix the certain as form that encloses uncertainties inherit in humans mind. In his second Style houses the dealing with uncertainty occurs even more. The fissure space confronts the uncertainty of an abstract space with the certainty of the daily-life zones, and shows the mutual reinforcement between the ambiguous effect of the uncertain space and the very concrete nature of the certain. The inclusion of the uncertain as an irrational value, opposed the idea of the quantitative planning method of standardization and industrial production at the time.





Verticality is the pre-eminence of spatial elements, which punctually emphasize the vertical dimension. As it is never found in traditional Japanese architecture, Shinohara begins to experiment if from the end of the first Style as a new opportunity to make the space of a house “as large as possible”. Nonetheless, it is more a new feature rather than a significant shift from his will to explore the horizontal expanse of the house.


Projects list

Shino House

The Uncompleted House 未完の家


Suginami, Tokyo, 1970

Nerima, Tokyo, 1970

Cubic Forest

Repeating Crevice



Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 1971

Ota, Tokyo, 1971


Sea Stairway

Sky Rectangle



Nerima, Tokyo, 1971

Setagaya, Tokyo, 1971

House in Seijo

House in Higashi-Tamagawa



Setagaya, Tokyo, 1973

Setagaya, Tokyo, 1973


Image References P 8. Kazuo Shinohara. 篠原一男. “5012 西欧の平面構成との 対比: 日本建築の方法・9 (歴史・意匠).” 日本建築学会論文報告 集 69 (1961):714. P 10. Hiroshi Ueda. 2G N.58-59 Kazuo Shinohara: Casas Houses. Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2011:75. P 12,16,34,42,43. Kazuo Shinohara. Kazuo Shinohara – Houses and Drawings. Shokokusha Publishing Co., Ltd, 2008:24,57,59,63,65,75. P 14,38. Shokokusha Photographers. Kazuo Shinohara – Complete Works in Original Publications: The Japan Architect.93(2014):52,54. P 18. Ishimoto Yasuhiro. Katsura: Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture. Yale University Press,1960.P 20. [Pit-house in Jōmon period][Electronic Image] http://www. hitachihouse.jp/image/C6ECCAB8BDBBB5EF.jpg[Accessed 2015-10-29] P 20. [Rustic caves near Zuigan-ji in Matsushima] [Electronic Image] http://www.kakeikofu.com/Japan/j0023. jpg[Accessed 2015-10-29] P 22,40. Koji Taki. Kazuo Shinohara – Complete Works in Original Publications: The Japan Architect.93(2014:50,51. P 24. [Nakagin Capsule Tower] メディア・モンスター: 誰が「黒


川紀章」 を殺したのか?. 草思社,


P 26. Kazuo Shinohara. “Beyond Symbol Spaces - An Introduction To Primary Spaces As Functional Spaces.” The Japan Architect.4(1971):89. P 28. Yoshiyuki Sakai. Kazuo Shinohara – Complete Works in Original Publications: The Japan Architect.93(2014):73. P 30. [Casa tassel][Electronic Image] http://pfst2.pixstatic. com/506aeadddbd0cb30610017ce._w.1500_s.fit_.jpg [Accessed 2015-10-29] P 30. [Nikko Toshogu Shrine][Electronic Image] http://www. pahoo.org/athome/album/2009/img20090624-150223k. jpg [Accessed 2015-10-29] 30. [San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane][Electronic Image] http://www.joostdevree.nl/bouwkunde2/jpgb/barok_3_ san_carlo_alle_quattro_fontane_rome_1768_www_ planetware_com.jpg[Accessed 2015-10-29] P 32. 第十回 家の「外」と「内」との境界線について[Electronic Image]http://www.mitsubishi-home.com/kukan_hint/ column/bk_index10.html [Accessed 2015-10-29] 36. [Pyramids in Egypt][Electronic Image] http://pic21. nipic.com/20120530/1931052_142633368000_2.jpg [Accessed 2015-10-29]


Bibliography 1. 篠原一男. “5015 西欧の平面構成との対比. : 日本建築の方法 9 (歴史・意匠).” 日本建築学会論文報告集 69 (1962):713-716 2. Kazuo Shinohara. “The Japanese Conception of Space.” The Japan Architect.6(1964):57. 3. Kazuo Shinohara. “The Japanese Conception of Space.” 2G N.58-59 Kazuo Shinohara: Casas Houses. Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2011:242-245. 4. 篠原一男.“3つの原空間.”住宅論.鹿島出版会 1970:133-157. 5.Kazuo Shinohara. “The three Primary Spaces.” The Japan Architect.8(1964):11-12. 6. Kazuo Shinohara. “A Theory of Residential Architecture.” The Japan Architect.10(1967):39-45. 7. Kazuo Shinohara. “Architectural Theory for 16 houses.” In 16 no jutaku to kenchikuron. Bijutsu Shuppansha , 1971:1114. 8. Kazuo Shinohara. “Beyond Symbol Spaces: An introduction to primary spaces as functional spaces.” The


Japan Architect.4 (1971):81-88. 9. Kazuo Shinohara. “When Naked Space is Traversed.” The Japan Architect.2 (1976):64-69. 10. Kazuo Shinohara. “The Third Style.” 2G N.58-59 Kazuo Shinohara: Casas Houses. Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2011:260276. 11. Kazuo Shinohara. ”Anthology 1958-1978”. Space Design. January (1979). 12. Kazuo Shinohara. “A Program for the ‘Fourth Space’.” The Japan Architect.9 (1986):28-35. 13. David B. Stewart. The Making of a Modern Japanese Architecture. Kodansha International Ltd,1987:211. 14. David B. Stewart. “Kazuo Shinohara’s Three Spaces of Architecture and his First and Second Styles.” 2G N.58-59 Kazuo Shinohara: Casas Houses. Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2011:19-33.


15R51531 Lukas Herzog 15M51578 Luciene Yeziret Espejo Blasquez 15R55509 Boris Popma 15R51520 Daniel Krabbe 15M51680 Wang Xi 15R51530 Hubert Holewik 15R50507 Marlice Alfera

Profile for Shinohara Open Encyclopedia




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