Shenboku Archives
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Architect Fumihiko Maki
Location Japan
Date 1970   timeline
Style Modern




Contributions appreciated

Discussion Shenboku Archives Commentary

The Creator's Words

“The true essence of Japanese public architecture, I believe, is not to be found in the building envelope, but in its space and territory. For example, the public territory in the classical raised-floor, shinden-style residence included exterior as well as interior space: The eaves (hisashi) and veranda (en) were spatial features that greatly heightened the public character of the residence… Even in Japanese contemporary architecture, public character is expressed through the use and design of territory—in the sensitivity to borders, both marked and unmarked; in the multiple layering of space by means of shoji and other screens; and in spatial arrangements structured not by the idea of a center but by the idea of depth (oku).

“While these features are basic to Japanese architecture in general, it is interesting that public architecture in Japan has always required a quality of space that might be described as dignity. This quality seems to be acquired by a certain spatial play (which is not to mean the absolute volume of a space) and by an imposing appearance. From masterpieces of classical architecture we can learn about the various elements of composing space—their interrelationship, tension, multiple layering, continuity, disposition in a multi-axial composition, and arrangement around multiple focal points—and how these can create a certain dynamism, proportion, and scale. In the 1980s, the public architecture, is that its spaces, or at least its major spaces, have dignity and a ceremonial quality.”

— Fumihiko Maki. from Japan Society, New York, Alexandre Munroe, Ed. New Public Architecture: Recent Projects by Fumihiko Maki and Arata Isozaki. p16.

Sources on Shenboku Archives

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. repetitive to unique diagram, p168. — Updated edition available at

Alexandre Munroe, ed., Japan Society, New York. New Public Architecture: Recent Projects by Fumihiko Maki and Arata Isozaki. New York: Japan Society, 1985. ISBN 0-913304-1-21-2. LC 85-061073. NA1559.M31A4 1985. discussion, p16.

Akira Ozawa. "Senboku Archaeological Archives", The Japan Architect International Edition of Shinkenchiku, December 1971, Vol 46 Number 12-180. west elevation drawing, p38. east elevation drawing, p38. site plan drawing, p38. interior color photo of exhibition space, p37. axonometric drawing, p35. exterior aerial photo, p34. exterior photo from above lake, p33.  Find books about Shenboku Archives


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