Nouvel, Hadid, Gehry,Piano

June 9, 2008

A panel discussion on architecture at Charlie Rose


Beijing Olympics

May 29, 2008

“Beijing, evidently, has other priorities. For all the sleek modernity of much of the construction, there’s no mistaking the old-fashioned monumentalist approach behind it. This is an Olympics driven by image, not by sensitive urban planning.”
This and much more in an interesting article of Paul Goldberger

Beijing vs Tokyo

May 22, 2008

Yesterday I came back from Beijing for some job interview.
Before posting general impression, here is another map comparison:

First a map of tokyo. the red line is the yamanote line which is really the linking line of tokyo transport system.

This is Beijing second ring. I have chosen it because it seemed the boundary of the center of the city.
Probably most foreigners live inside it. The second line goes under it. Yamanote line/ second ring seems a fair comparison in matter of relation of the city in a simpler way
yamanote line : tokyo = 2nd ring : beijing

Here are the two together.

beijing milano tokyo

The last shows Tokyo Beijing and Milan’s Navigli ring.

I received an email where I was asked to suggest which one is better to go for an internship.
Please consider that I have been in Tokyo 1.5 years, in Beijing just a few days.
Beijing is developing, Tokyo too but has already reached a high level of development.
Beijing urban planning has a russian flavor: large and long roads which make it a “car city”
Tokyo has no urban planning. Getting lost in tiny streets late at night is one of the best thing one can do.
Beijing is a construction site. I would imagine sometimes not so pleasant to live in.
Beijing is much more polluted.
Beijing is dusty. Tokyo, after a while, feels too clean.
In Beijing there are streets with trees, in Tokyo probably one or two.
Beijing is a teenager, with contrasts, virtues, dreams and possibilities.
Tokyo is more adult: efficient, polite, clean and established.

A foreigner in Tokyo is, at the beginning lost but quickly can feel well integrated.
Some cultural barriers, luckily, will always remain.
IN beijing I felt the gap between foreigners and locals is much bigger.
Foreigners tend not to speak chinese, have better salary which creates a ghetto.
Young people in Beijing speak better english than those in Tokyo.
Therefore foreigners in tokyo speak better japanese than those in beijing do with chinese.
Beijing gives more opportunities and contrasts, Tokyo more efficiency and quality.

As usual there is no conclusion because it depends mainly on what a person is looking for and his capacity of adaptability

Good good documentation

May 16, 2008

A brilliant documentation on Zollverein school by Thomas Mayer.
Check the rest of the website too

Insulation, insulation

May 15, 2008

that’s one of the key to understand japanese house design!

Architecture for the eye

May 14, 2008

A few days ago I saw a little book with a collection of picture of housing complex.
Today I read the interview by Ping Mag with the author Ken Oyama.

Without any doubt the work is visually appealing, joins a certain tendency that takes alook to daily “low culture” objects. Nothing that new.
What worries me is another aspect:
-isn’t it dangerous to look at architecture in such a visual way (read the article) ?

-after looking at a nice pattern do we still realize that that black square is a little window from which a not so well paid worker looks out?
-does this visual binge hide the fact that this building do mostly nothing to increase one’s living dignity?

Mumbai vs Tokyo

May 13, 2008

An interesting article about comparison of Mumbai and Tokyo