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Questions and Lessons: Koji Taki’s Photographs of White U

Koji Taki, who exerted a tremendous influence on Japanese architects today as a critic, also left a significant trace as a photographer. Some of the canonical photos of Kazuo Shinohara’s and Toyo Ito’s projects are Taki’s work, yet his photography has somehow evaded systematic research or discussion to date. Here is a groundbreaking discourse by Toyo Ito, moved by Taki’s photographs to question the relationship of architecture and the urban context.
Toyo Ito, translated by Sam Bett
Footnotes:
  • 1.

    Residence designed in 1976 by Ito for his older sister and her family. Known in English as “White U,” the Japanese name literally translates to “House in Nakano-Honcho,” referring to a Tokyo district and ward, respectively.

  • Toyo Ito is an architect and principal of Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects. In his innovative works, Ito constantly seeks ways to redefine and engage architecture in society. His honors include the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale and the 2013 Pritzker Architecture prize.