A recent symposium held by one of the country’s larger construction firms seeks to spur a revival of traditional Japanese building techniques in modern homes. Bending over the wooden beam, the artisan draws the kanna – a traditional Japanese carpenter’s plane – down its length. The carpenter was not working away in a remote village of Japan, but in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, at a conference hall being used for a conference and symposium held by the Aqura Group. An even more impressive demonstration of how traditional building techniques can be used in very modern applications was a scale model of one of the major architectural details of Aqura’s new headquarters in Saitama. These demonstration pieces offered an immediate way to understand what can be accomplished with traditional carpentry techniques in modern Japanese buildings, but the symposium provided the opportunity to see how architects are using wood and traditional Japanese carpentry techniques in their own work.


A premier source of English information and lifestyle content for people living in and wanting to find out more about Tokyo. Built using a combination of traditional Japanese joinery and modern architectural methods, the arch is both a reminder of the techniques that have been employed in the country for centuries, but used in an overall form that is extremely modern. In his remarks, he explained how the contemporary designs of many of Tokyo’s most impressive buildings have their roots in traditional architecture. When it comes to understanding the roots of another culture, the performing arts provides a unique window.
It’s as fine as a piece of tissue, and once the carpenter is finished planing the beam, its surface is so polished that it can reflect like a mirror.


During their presentations and discussion, they explained how their projects were inspired by the buildings’ environments, the techniques of traditional architecture, and the very nature of wood as a material itself. Ishii spoke about the need for architects and house builders to understand how modern Japanese lifestyles have changed, and Nakano walked the audience through a museum on the shores of the Inland Sea that transforms the seaside view into a unique work of art.



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