"ARCHITECTURE OF THE MASK" IN PLAY
“How many modern buildings can you laugh at — with the architect standing beside you?” asks architectural historian Charles Jencks in speaking of Japanese New Wave architects’ built work. As a retort to the modernists’ solemn “Form Follows Function,” New Wave architect Takefumi Aida formulated a theory of “Architecture of the Mask,” which accords facades independence from the building function they conceal within/behind. Correspondingly, a new wave of playful, even risible, houses cropped up: Kazumasa Yamashita’s “Face House” (1975) with big round eyes, a toothy mouth and a gun‐barrel nose (that Jencks thinks needs plastic surgery) and Takefumi Aida’s “Toy Block House” (1978‐1984), which mimics toy building‐blocks, are just two examples. This playful spirit originated in Aida’s conception of “Architecture of the Mask” still percolates in today’s Japanese architecture, as exemplified by Hideyuki Nakayama’s “House In Matsumoto,” which mischievously pulls up its bottom/mask just enough for a peek into Behind-the-scene. Building upon this thread of thoughts, this workshop explores new possibilities to don architecture a mask, and stimulates “architecture of the mask” into play. Laugh is welcome.
Hideyuki Nakayama, Hideyuki Nakayama Architecture, Japan
Hideyuki Nakayama (中山英之, born 1972, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan) is an award‐winning Japanese architect based in Tokyo. After graduating from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (major in Architecture and Planning), he then worked for Toyo Ito & Associate, Architects for seven years. He is now the director of his own firm, Hideyuki Nakayama Architecture, established in 2007. He won the first Rokka no Mori Tea House Competition in 2008, the 23rd Yoshioka Prize in 2007 and the SD Review 2004 Kajima Prize. Nakayama combined a passion for shooting nature and architecture with a strong sense of scale and its treatment to the nature and space.
Lisa Hsieh, Assistant Professor, UMN School of Architecture