Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hoto Fudo

In Yamanashi, Takeshi Hosaka's noodle restaurant talks with Fuji-San. "You are very big, and angular, and you make a dramatic silhouette against the sky. I am humble, low and round, and I will sit down on the ground in front of you and make small talk." The dialogue of forms is nothing new; artists, architects and photographers have been having conversations with Fuji for thousands of years. It is surprising, then, that Hoto Fudo does not integrate with it's more immediate surroundings. It sits on a paved pad which has no plant materials. This, along with the pure white interior walls, makes it an austere host, more suitable for a boy scout troop's mess than a visiting family. Hosaka is an architect who knows how to integrate building with nature, so it is a small mystery.
photo by Koji Fuji

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Glass House

Thomas Roszak's Northfield, Illinois residence, featured in Friday's Financial Times http://tinyurl.com/26unwpb anchored tonight's Chicago Filmmakers "Architecture in Motion" in a 9 minute short by Media Artist Chi Jang Yin. Roszak's received the AIA Interiors Award for this modernist, transparent box. Chi Jang Yin's film follows the construction process, from post-and-beam fitting to glazing, ending with the unfolding of the living spaces to the exterior, through seasonal change and the activities of the young family. The filmmaker appeared at the screening, answered questions about the three-year filmmaking process, and brought the audience into contact with the occupants' experience, especially as it related to the house's natural surroundings. You can view the film at www.chijangyin.com, along with her other film and photography projects.
Some of the other "Architecture in Motion" films were in, face it, really really slow motion. I'm pretty sure Inland Steel didn't move during the 2007 12 minute film of the same name, but I think I did see Lamar walking around in his office. The movement in Adele Friedman's Tree Studios is stately, and it is hard to believe the changes since this film was shot 20 years ago.
I can't wait for Chicago Filmmakers "Not too Otaku" series of Japanese anime coming October 22nd, it will include a short by Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy.