Japan’s top 10 buildings

 The worldwide editors of Emporis have chosen 10 buildings in Japan for their spectacular architecture. The structures impress not only in their appearance, but also for their design philosophy, ingenuity and interesting use of materials.

Architects in Japan have to design structures that are earthquake-safe and while for residential houses, the restrictions of small plots have to be considered. Contemporary design is not only visible in modern skyscrapers but also in family homes.  Especially, the bustling city of Tokyo is home to many architectural gems, such as the 204-meter tall Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower and the office building “Urbanprem Minamiaoyama” designed by Yuko Nagayama & Associates. Its roofline is invisible because the facade curves upwards; windows in varying heights reinforce this perception. 

In the last decade, other cities such as Shiga, Nagoya and Kyoto have seen a rise in unique residential houses. The 103-square-metre Keyhole House and the 260-square-metre Mon Factory/House designed by Eastern Design Office are both located in Kyoto. Keyhole House is so called because its front facade is shaped like a key. Mon Factory/House has 26 circular holes cut into its walls. Architects from Eastern Design Office enjoy “the freedom that comes with the scale of residential buildings.”

The use of new and interesting building materials is common. The Keyhole House uses mortar mixed with “sumi ink” that matches the red front door. The Slit House in Otsu is made entirely of cement with no windows, only slits. Architecture in Japan is renowned for its clean lines and effective and innovative use of space. Buildings in Japan need little ornamenting as the structure itself is the decoration.

Emporis is a leading database based in Germany that provides global building information which is universally accessible to users. For over a decade they have helped companies, organizations and individuals stay informed about the building industry. The Emporis Skyscraper Award is the world’s most renowned prize for high-rise architecture.

For more information, visit  www.emporis.com