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New issue > 2G 58/59 Kazuo Shinohara. Houses

Kazuo Shinohara (1925–2006), who received a posthumous Golden Lion at the 2010 Venice Biennale, is a legendary figure in modern architecture who transcended the borders of his native Japan. This is due to two things: the spatial quality and intensity of his single-family housing projects (some of them already architectural icons), and his strict control over how and where his work was published.

In Japan, all of his houses were published in the journal Shinkenchiku (as well as in the corresponding English version The Japan Architect). However, in the rest of the world his work was published only in a very small number of monographs, all of them long out of stock and only available second hand.

This issue of 2G concentrates on the single-family homes, rather than the final stage of his career, when Shinohara worked on public buildings.

The process leading to this new publication has been long and difficult, stretching back to May 2002. At that first contact, Shinohara eventually rejected our offer, not wanting to rephotograph his houses.

It wasn’t until March 2008, more than a year after Shinohara’s death, that the process could begin again. This time there were three guest editors, David B. Stewart, Shin-Ichi Okuyama and Taishin Shiozaki. And so began the arduous task of locating the houses, and checking their condition. Many of them are located in the Greater Tokyo area, but there are also some near Kyoto and even in the extreme south of the country.

The result of this work is the current edition of 2G. It includes some of Shinohara’s most emblematic houses, such as the White House, Tanikawa House, House in Itoshima, House in Uehara, House in Ashitaka, House on a Curved Road, House Under High Voltage Lines, and House in Yokohama.

Shinohara was also a keen writer, and the Nexus section of this 2G includes four texts by him. None has ever been published before in Spanish, and two of them have never previously been published in English.

The new photographs were taken by the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Ueda. The introductory texts have been written by Enric Massip-Bosch, David B. Stewart and Shin-Ichi Okuyama.

 

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