Designart

I’m very happy to see the arrival of the new Designart (“Design & Art”) festival in Tokyo, set to take place for the first time in October of this year. I’m especially happy because among the founders are Astrid Klein & Mark Dytham, who I of course worked with during my last 6 years in Tokyo. Here’s a Facebook post by Mark talking about the new event.

New Year Love from AQ and KDa

I don’t receive New Year cards (nengajo) like I used to — although I still enjoy looking at a lot of them, courtesy of Spoon & Tamago and 8-4. In fact, I only received two this year, but they were both from people I love so much. Up top is the card sent by design crew AQ, who decided to be a bit sly with the rooster theme, and peacock it up a bit. Below, the card from my loving Tokyo family of Klein Dytham architecture, as spicy as ever.

YouTubing in Japan

The Japan Times has a piece up that looks at the popularity of foreign YouTubers in Japan, with a focus on a Canadian called Sharla, and her YouTube channel “Sharla in Japan.” It’s interesting to see how things have changed since we were seeing the start of stuff like this a decade or so ago (late 2000s), and how YouTube/Google in Japan is now actively supporting these people — in part with the “YouTube Space” at the Google offices, designed by my ex-employers, Klein Dytham architecture.

Ginza Place

ginza-place-by-kleindytham

The latest project from my former employer (and good friends) Klein Dytham Architects is a gorgeous one, and takes the form of the brand new Ginza Place building in Ginza, which hosts swanky new showrooms for Nissan and Sony. It opened today. Here’s how KDa’s Mark Dytham describes the project:

Our latest project, Ginza Place, opens to the public tomorrow. Located on one of the most iconic corners in the world, the Ginza 4-Chome crossing. Klein Dytham architecture in partnership with Taisei Corporation were responsible for the facade design and the overall massing of this new 11 storey building.

The facade, made from 5315 individual aluminium panels reflects the craftsmanship and quality which is synonymous with Ginza and JapanThe project massing takes its cues from the historic Wako building opposite with it’s clear horizontal banding which allow balconies on the 3rd and 7th floors to have unprecedented views of Ginza, Chuo Dori and Harumi Dori.

Ginza Place is a gateway to the re-birth of Ginza and has already become a new landmark for Tokyo and Japan ready for the build up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The building is home to Nissan and Sony’s new global flagship showrooms and 5 restaurants and cafes.

You’ll find a few renderings in this Spoon & Tamago post, and we can expect to see more photos soon.

Secret Garden

I have to say I’m quite a fan of these secret gardens you hear about, located on Tokyo rooftops. The one pictured above is not in Tokyo, but rather in Isezaki (Gunma prefecture), and was designed by Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects. I’ve been told that KDa‘s Astrid Klein has one of her own.