Principles of Beauty and Form in Japanese Architecture

28 February 2012, from 6.30 pm

The Japan Foundation, London

Japanese architecture, whether it is traditional or modern, is believed to share common principles of beauty and forms that are indigenous to Japan. Influenced by and interacted with various landscapes, the principles have been expressed in many architectural structures in Japan.

In this special lecture, Dr Teruaki Matsuzaki, architecture historian, currently teaching at the ICS College of Arts and the Science and Engineering department of Meiji University Tokyo, will introduce the various principles of beauty and form that have informed Japanese architecture over the centuries, showcasing three distinguished types of examples such as “suspended forms” built in the mountains, “floating forms” constructed on the sea, and the form with the concept of “Ma” in the flatland. He will then explore how these principles are also embodied in the most recent Japanese architecture designed by notable architects including Tadao Ando and Kazuyo Sejima, and what pros and cons they may bring.

This event will extend beyond a simple overview, instead promising to delve into what lies at the heart of Japanese architecture, and perhaps go some way to explain what it is that makes it so particularly distinctive.