起源与演进

  • 来源:建筑创作
  • 关键字:伊东丰雄,博物馆,建筑
  • 发布时间:2014-04-11 13:50

  水的原风景

  伊东丰雄的成长时期是在山中的诹访湖畔度过的。

  他的作品下诹访町立诹访湖博物馆(1993),面湖如同回旋飞镖一样平缓地勾勒出一条长长的弧线,管状的造型在水平方向上延伸着。它成了伊东回避现代主义样式的严密形态、转而追求流动的设计这种1990年代之后风格的契机之一。在离它不远的地方城市中的松本市民艺术馆(2004),也是沿着细长的用地,有着柔缓延伸造型的音乐厅。在走访诹访湖中,就在想他的那种不定形的流水般的造型形象,应该便是源于这种原风景。听说伊东当时每天都在观望诹访湖中往返学校。不过,在他作为建筑师之后,不是工作伊始而是在50多岁时才如同回到原点般地、在新的设计方向上得以开花结果。与同县出身的建筑家藤森照信比较起来是很耐人寻味的。藤森是作为建筑史学家成名之后,开始了实际的设计活动。茅野市的藤森的处女作,神长官守矢史料馆(1991),有着古怪奇特的异型造型,柱子从檐口贯穿出来。在它的后面出现的是浮在离地6 米高处的树屋-高过庵(2004)。据说在旁边还计划建一个掘地的低过庵。相对于伊东的水平轴,藤森则是明显的垂直轴。藤森是在这附近的山坳里的村落中长大的,应该是受到了诹访大社的御柱祭的影响吧。最近他的研究趣向偏向于古代的立石阵(standing stone) 或树木信仰,也令人觉得那是在向原风景的回归。说起来守矢家是世代负责诹访大社的祭祀,史料馆中展示着祭祀的历史。藤森的建筑,如同抛落柱子这样粗野的御柱祭一样,在今天重现了古代那种强力的形象。

  可是,诹访湖有至少从14世纪就开始流传的有趣的祭神仪式,叫做“御神渡”(Omiwatari)。冬天湖面结冰,由于昼夜温差导致膨胀和收缩交互进行,最终令变厚了的冰在巨响中崩裂。从湖岸的这边到那边,出现了高度30厘米至180厘米左右的冰的山脉。如同罗伯特·史密森(RobertSmithson,美国现代美术家-译注)、迈克尔·海泽(Michael Heuser,美国电影人- 译注) 等现代美术作家所创作的大地艺术那样的风景。在诹访湖,将其称之为“御神渡”。据传说,它是诹访神社上社的男神建御名方命前往下社女神八坂刀売命那里与她交往的旅路。最开始出现的南北走向的线被称之为“一之御神渡”、几天后在同一方向上出现的东西被称之为“二之御神渡”、另外起于东岸与这两道直交的被称之为“佐久之御神渡”。祭神仪式通过观察这些现象,分析这三道御神渡的方向,对丰收还是歉收进行占卜。

  自然气象现象产生了形状不规则的线,冰的裂纹隆起,创造出意想不到的美妙造型。我想故乡的诹访湖所带来的生动的冰的造型,恰好暗示了伊东追求新的几何学的方向性。

  可以指出的是,不只是设计,伊东在工作上的姿态也如同水一般的流动性。伊东与其说是单方面地贯彻自我,不如说是聚拢周围的人们,发挥出大伙的各种才能,在形成大旋窝的同时,来构造建筑。在他的工地上,建筑成立在众多人们的网络和沟通基础上。记者泷口范子将伊东和雷姆·库哈斯这两位活跃在全球化时代的最重要的现代建筑家,写成了报导文学的书,对两者作了对比性的描述。借由她的表达,便是“积极行动的库哈斯、被动地将发生的事转化为别的潮流的伊东”(《日本的建筑家 伊东丰雄·观察记》TOTO 出版)。在这里也可以确认到他的流体般的形象。伊东本人也说过,“接受对方的批评,少说也得思考一遍看自己的想法是否能被改变……我经常想的是如何通过接受对方的意见来进化自己的观点”(《DETAIL JAPAN TALK2005-2007》2007年12月)。如果说库哈斯是狰狞的肉食动物,伊东应该是温和的食草动物吧。

  关于水的意象,另一个颇有意思的是,在日本泡沫经济盛期,后现代主义建筑盛行的1989年,伊东所写下的表决心的重要文章《不浸入消费之海就没有新建筑》(《透层建筑》青土社),表达了很重要的观点。他认为,在建筑被消费,变得与时尚或游戏等价的时代,一味的出于保守的价值观感叹现实性的丧失是不会有成果的。还说“我觉得现实性不是在消费的前面,而只存在于完成了消费之后的阶段中。因此面对消费的海洋,我们只有一个办法,便是沉浸其中,游弋其中、直到对岸并有所发现”。不是沉溺于消费的海洋,而是与其面对面,“彻底地探究建筑成立的可能性”。毫无疑问,伊东渡过了泡沫经济的海洋,成功地得以扩展,到达对岸的“新现实”境界。

  信息化和自然的意象

  如果将这句话中的消费社会替换为信息化社会,恐怕也能说明1990年代之后的状况,这正是伊东的基本姿态。在建筑陷入危机的信息时代中探求建筑的新的可能性。进入1990年代,由于电脑的普及,在电脑画面上摆弄形态变化的虚拟建筑师或网络建筑师出尽风头。此外,和网络终端连接的如同物流仓库一样的便利店、带有大信息屏幕的商业设施在现实城市中出现,甚至出现建筑将被消灭的流言。原来被称为信息空间的东西是很难可视化的,而新的技术抹杀了建筑。维克多·雨果曾经说过,书籍抹杀了大教堂,那么电脑这种新技术会抹杀建筑吗?好像与其对抗似的,伊东将电脑的可能性导入设计中,复苏再生了建筑。

  我对仙台媒体中心的开业(2001) 印象深刻。在2000年12月31日的深夜进行迈向21世纪的倒计时,到达零点时,玻璃门大开,大量的人蜂拥而入。结合新的千年纪开幕的活动,在2001年1月1日,此设施开馆了,如同象征着新的建筑时代一样。这个在日本被首次赋予“媒体中心”名称的公共设施的竞标,要求的是信息化时代的新的建筑形态。取代柱、墙等这些传统要素,伊东提出了由圆管(tube)、表皮(skin)、平板(plate) 构筑的模型,并获得了胜利。

  2000年,伊东在鹿特丹建筑博物馆的论坛上演讲时,有听众指出仙台媒体中心使人想起安东尼奥·高迪的建筑。确实如此,高迪的曲线形造型在追求结构上的可能性的同时,被包裹上了装饰性要素,唤起身体上的感觉。不过,伊东的透明感截然地改变了那种印象。高迪是西班牙的现代主义艺术样式(Modernismo)、即新艺术(Art Nouveau) 时代的建筑家。在此,通过在世纪的转折点上诞生的仙台媒体中心,将大约100年前席卷欧洲的新艺术和现代进行比较是非常有意思的。

  新艺术如同字面上的意思一样,指的是追求“新的艺术”。这是无视近代的可能性,对埋头于被条文化的过去样式的19世纪建筑的批判,以完全不参照历史要素的前卫派(advance guard) 为开端,新艺术出现了。确切地说这是在现代主义将建筑的设计手法定型化之前。不过,新艺术是从充满生命力的自然、植物中获得灵感,因此也被称为“花的样式”。

  仙台媒体中心也是参照了植物的意象。众所周知,项目设计从一张草图开始。1995年1月,伊东在机场闪现的构思是,透明的盒子的内部6根柱子在摇摆舞动。一瞬间,谁会想到这就是建筑的草图呢。实际上,草图上面写的是 “海草般的柱子”,以水箱中摇摆着的海草为意象,成为了构思的源头。据伊东所说,仙台媒体中心具有森林般的空间。由焊接钢管构成的网状的管子,看起来像树木,与建筑前面的成排的榉树相呼应。由于管状结构的插入,打乱了均一的空间。他以“自然”为线索,创造了各种各样不同的场所。在在被树木限定了空间的森林中,两个相同的场所是不存在的。他说“仙台媒体中心是叠层的城市森林。它是智慧的建筑,智慧的森林。”(《城市的透明的森林》《透层建筑》)。即在世纪的转折点上,在此自然也给予建筑家师灵感。

  起初新艺术在建筑的危机中诞生。19世纪末的建筑是从机械化,或者铁、玻璃、混凝土等技术的进步中所淘汰下来的。由于接受了学院派教育的建筑师们,不知道如何使用代替石头、砖的新的条件,因而转向执着于作为艺术被保存下来的过去的建筑式样。

  创造出开拓下一代造型的应该是没有接受过正规的建筑教育的技师们。例如,有出自约瑟夫·帕克斯顿的水晶宫(1851)、出自居斯塔夫·埃菲尔的埃菲尔铁塔(1889)。总的来说,19世纪的建筑界被瓦解了,分成了执着于古老样式的传统的建筑师和在其外部开始使用新的素材的技师。曾经是融合在一起的艺术和技术之间出现了一道难分的界线。作为艺术的建筑即将灭绝。如果建筑失去了样式,所有造型通过计算来导出的话,就变得不是艺术了。

  不过,新艺术利用铁容易弯曲的性质,在如何充分应用上狠下工夫。另外,在地铁的设计中也意识到批量生产同样的东西这种近代化体系。思想家瓦尔特·本雅明在“passage 论”( 巴黎拱廊街的理论- 译注) 中这样指出,新艺术为“固守在被技术所包围的象牙塔里的艺术的最后的出击尝试”,即新艺术在引进新的技术可能性的同时,谋求艺术性建筑的起死回生,寻找复活的机会。这个论点100年后仍然适用。

  虽然1980年代盛行后现代主义建筑,对过去样式的引用泛滥,而伊东却拒绝历史性的设计,着眼于植物性的东西。如同高迪的新艺术逃离19世纪死板的样式建筑参照了植物一样。20世纪末,IT化的浪潮开始涌向建筑界,由于数字技术的快速发展,空间的概念发生了很大的变化。如果所有的空间都成为信息终端,物理性建筑的设计就不需要了,出现了诸如此类粗暴的议论。但是仙台媒体中心如同建筑界的响雷一样,诞生了新的几何学的宇宙。

  让我们从伊东的作品系谱中来加以定位。伊东在1970年代设计了中野本町之家(1976)等对外界封闭的住宅。但是到了1980年代,像银色小屋(1984) 那样,追求的是向城市敞开的建筑和皮膜的设计;在风之塔(1986) 中,反映了周边环境的无形趋势;在八代市立博物馆(1991) 中,通过前方堆土令建筑与景观一体化,成功地减轻了大体量的视觉效果,将在住宅规模上已经实现的轻盈的意向成功地引进到公共设施的尺度上。从这以后,在1990 年代将工作的中心转移到日本各地开展的公共设施项目上。

  颇有意思的是,虽然风格改变了,但仙台媒体中心和最初期的作品也有相同的性格。处女作的铝之家 (1971),在中心设置了垂直的圆筒,伊东不仅把它作为导光的筒,而且将其作为信息终端来定位。从铝之家的圆筒可以想象到仙台媒体中心的管子。在他的建筑中不只是水平方向,也能看到垂直方向的透明性。另外在笠间之家(1981) 中,伊东已将空间的阶层等级(hierarchy)拆除,追求的是漂流着形态断片的平整的空间。

  仙台媒体中心以后

  仙台媒体中心体现了信息化时代的形象。尽管如此,这一建筑仍具备高度的建筑性。换句话说,不是通过放弃建筑来表现信息的形象,而且始终采用建筑的方法。不,应该说是通过建筑性的手法,消除了以前的“建筑”。信息技术作为建筑的外部因素威胁着建筑的存在,伊东却奋而抵抗。在信息化时代的像多米诺叠牌般的背景中,存在身体被双重化的概念。他认为,我们既有作为生命经历的身体,也有突破这个范畴的另一个身体。

  由于数字、交流而被扩展的身体与近代的身体有所不同。据伊东研究,电力媒体的身体需要漂浮的、不被场所束缚的空间。在1960年代麦克卢汉(Herbert Marshall McLuhan,加拿大文明评论家- 译注) 论述了衣服、掩体是我们的皮肤的扩展,伊东认为建筑应该是具有柔缓流动的皮膜的媒体、外套。“建筑是被扩展的衣服,被扩展的媒体、外套。……身体包裹着透明的媒体、外套的人们定居在虚拟的自然、媒体森林中。他们是媒体森林中的泰山(Tarzan,美国小说家埃德加·莱斯·巴洛斯所创造的架空人物,丛林中的超人- 译注)”(“媒体森林的泰山们”“透层建筑”),建筑于是成为数码的游牧民的建筑。

  在1985年东京游牧少女的敖包的表现中,伊东已经提出了在柔缓的帐篷中布置了床和为了女性生活的只有少数家具的住居形象的概念方案。它不像古典主义中的多立克柱式秩序或勒·柯布西耶那样体现身强力壮的男性身体的建筑。它并不丰满,带着一些柔弱,如同常常光顾便利店的少女的身体。近代建筑并非打造健康体魄的矫正装置,新的身体具有流动感。顺便提及,新艺术时代的身体形象也是柔软的女性,将其想像成不断和自然有机融合的东西是非常有趣的。由于作为新的“自然”的“信息”环境的出现,两者才共有了同一个形象。

  不过,伊东的思想并不局限于此,它实现了更高的面貌。它正是在考虑媒体中心以后的活动上,真正令人惊讶不已的地方。

  2004年,当笔者计划的连续研讨会“替代方案、现代”时,在伊东的演讲中,功能、抽象、生产、时间的概念发生变化,电子式功能、自己生成的几何学、农业生产、非线性的过程作为新的建筑原理被提示出来。在他这种构筑言论的态度中,令人感受到他在作为现代主义的正统继承者的同时,有着试图跨越这个框框的顽强的意志。不必说,他列举的关键词与其说是建筑式的,不如说任何一个都是介于自然和人工之间的庭园式的东西。而且在演讲中,记忆最深刻的是,感受到伊东从种种约束事项中被解放出来的是达到一种醒悟的境界的印象、和结构家的合作、对自由的造型、色彩的敏锐的感觉、还有唤起身体性的动物性的空间。这是一种在和他人关联的同时,积极投身于变革的建筑家的形象。

  “替代方案、现代”是笔者的造语。这是基于可能有的“现代主义在当前逐渐出现”这一假说的。如果说后现代主义是对既有的建筑的修饰性操作,替代方案、现代则是在具备新艺术或表现主义等多种多样的方向性的同时,再次将收敛于国际风格中的现代主义的可能性进行释放。或许,伊东便居于这种可能性的中心位置,并提示出通过简单的规则实现复杂的空间的新几何学和偶尔兼有的结构新装饰。在日本,他的事务所,以妹岛和世为首,连续培养出优秀的下一代建筑师的数量是最多的,形成了可以和丹下健三、伊东曾经就职的菊竹清训并肩的丰富的矿脉。

  进入21世纪,伊东迈出日本,在西班牙、比利时、英国、法国、新加坡、台湾、美国等世界各地开展活动。而且,在完成仙台媒体中心那样的作品之后、本可稍作停顿,但令人惊讶的是他接连不断地开拓更大的新境地。通过一笔画的线的轨迹来确定开口部形式的蛇形画廊(2002)、像植物的叶脉般的科英布拉的Santa Cruz公园的敞篷展馆方案、被树形般的混凝土结构所包裹的TOD‘S表参道大楼(2004)、有着蜿蜒景观的福冈岛城中央公园的核心设施(2005)、使人联想到生物器官的台中歌剧院等,他如神灵附体般、奔跑在现代建筑的最前端。

  伊东在多摩美术大学新图书馆(2007) 中加入了现代建筑所忌讳的拱形,但他并非单纯地回归过去,其中拱形的设计呈大小不等的排列,这在古典主义建筑的常识看来根本是不可能的东西。也不同于表现主义的感觉,歪曲的平面上展开着明亮的洞窟般的空间。一层的地面结合连续坡道的用地,缓缓地倾斜着。通过将近似自然地形的设计带入建筑的内部,从脚底刺激着我们。在他的个展“建筑|新现实主义”展(2006) 中,不仅展出了模型、图纸,还进行了诉诸于我们身体感觉的、对地面景观方面的操作尝试。

  这次展览会不是回顾过去的作品,而是介绍了伊东在仙台媒体中心以后所大胆尝试的结构上的实验近作,即剖切出以惊人的气势创造着原创设计的伊东的现状。2007年,我作为结合“新现实主义”巡回展的论坛主持聆听了伊东的演讲。由于他的理论进化不断加速,令人感觉到只有在他的周围所流淌着的不同的时间,没有重复的时间,必须不停地改变。这对评论家来说是非常麻烦的事情,即使要写关于他的文章,哪怕移动到一个新的现实阶段,也马上会被抛下、被迫不断更新观点、前面提到的伊东的身体意象,也恐怕已经移向了感应物质的喜悦那样的充满生命力的东西上了。

  仙台媒体中心,我想仿佛已经是很久远的事情了。

  THE ORIGINAL SCENE OF WATER

  Toyo Ito grew up at the bank of Lake Suwa in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture.

  Shimosuwa Lake Suwa Museum and Akahiko Memorial Museum is a work of Toyo Ito in 1993. Standing at Lake Suwa in the shape of a tube extendinghorizontally, it looks like a long curve drawn by a boomerang. The museum, as a turning point in the design career of Toyo Ito, represents the designphilosophy of him after the 1990s, namely, breaking free from structural restriction of modern architecture and exploring architecture with liquid space.Standing near by in the downtown is Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre (2004). Like the museum, the music hall also extends gently along a long andnarrow plot. When visiting Lake Suwa, I was thinking that Toyo Ito’s architecture with flowing lines and spaces must be inspired by the original water sceneof the lake. I’ve heard that Toyo Ito would overlook the lake every day on his way to school. In his fifties, instead of soon after becoming an architect, ToyoIto returned to the place where his dream started and found another productive way of design.

  Compared with Toyo Ito, Terunobu Fujimori who was born in the same place interprets architecture in a quite different way. As a famous architectural historian-turned-architectural designer, Terunobu Fujimori made a great coup with his maiden work Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum in 1991. With thepillars breaking through the eave, the building is very special even queer in design. In 2004, Terunobu Fujimori presented another widely known work tree house Takasugi-an which is 6 meters above the ground. Hearsay goes that Fujimori once planned to build an underground building beside it. Unlike Ito who prefers architecture extending horizontally, Fujimori tends to vertical extension subject to the influence of the sacred pillars in Suwa Grand Shrine maybe during his childhood in the village nearly. In his latest research, he showed interests in ancient standing stones and people’s belief in trees, which reflect his willing to return to original scene. For generations, Moriya family has been responsible for the sacrificial rite at Suwa Grand Shrine, the history of which is displayed in the museum. Fujimori’s architecture is like the sacred pillars on which people ride down dangerous slopes, showing the tough will power ancient people.

  On Lake Suwa, there is an interesting sacrificial rite originated in the 14th century called Omiwatari (Passage of the Gods). In winter, ice on the surface of the lake expands and contracts as the temperature changes in a day. While getting thicker and thicker, the ice cracks and rises in tremendous noise,forming a long 30-180-cm-high ridge of jagged ice stretching across the lake. Such scenery, a kind of “land art” put forward by modern artists like Robert Smithson (1938-73, American contemporary artist) and Michael Heizer (contemporary landscaper), is called Omiwatari at Lake Suwa. Legends go that itwas a passage of love through which God Takeminakata-no Mikoto went to visit Goddess Yasakatome-no Mikoto. The south-north Omiwatari appearing first is called Omiwatari I, the second south-north Omiwatari appearing a few days later is called Omiwatari II, and the one starting from the east bank and crossing the above two is called Shikumareta Omiwatari. During the sacrificial rite, by observing and analyzing the directions of the three Omiwataris, the priest would divine the harvest of the next year.

  Affected by weather, ice cracks and rises, thus forming irregular lines which are amazingly beautiful. I think that the vivid ice patterns on Lake Suwa in Ito’s hometown relevantly hints the geometrical directivity pursued by Ito.

  It can be said that Ito uses the liquidity of water in not only his design but also his work style. Instead of just using his personal wisdom and ability,he uses those of people around to form a powerful spiral of strength in architectural design. On his construction sites, buildings erect on the basis ofbrain storms. Journalist Noriko TakiguchiIn, author of the biographies of “Toyo Ito and Rem Koolhas, the two most important architects in the age of globalization”, once said in Toyo Ito, architect, Japan (TOTO) that the two were sharply contrasted to each other, they are “Aggressive Koolhaas, passive Ito who turns oncoming things into the other trends”, which reflects the liquidity concept in the design of Ito. Ito once said “I’ve thought to accept the criticism of others to see if my own ideas can be changed… I always think that the opinions of others can make a better me” (Detail Japan Talk 2005-2007,December 2007). If Koolhas is a ferocious carnivorous animal, Ito should be a mild herbivorous animal.

  There is another interesting example about Ito’s imagery of water. In 1989 when the bubble economy of Japan raged and the post-modern architecture prevailed, Ito wrote a paper New Architecture is on the Other Side of the Sea of Consumption (Transparency of Architecture, Seidosha)to show his stand point. He said that in an age when architecture has been equalized to fashion or games by consumption, sighing the loss of realityout of conservative values is use less. “I feel that reality does not stand in front but on the opposite side of consumption. Therefore, facing the sea ofconsumption, we can only jump into it and swim to the other side to find something.” He holds that it’s better to swim to the other side of the sea ofconsumption than in dulging in it, thus to “thoroughly inquiry the possibility of the existence of architecture”. Ito has swum across in the sea covered witheconomic bubbles. After reaching the other side where New Realism is, he successfully found a bigger development.

  INFORMATIZATION AND IMAGES OF NATURE

  If the consumption society in this aphorism is substituted by an information society, perhaps it can explain the situation after the 1990s. This isToyo Ito’s general attitude to find out the new possibility of architecture in the information era when the architecture is beset with a crisis. In the 1990s,as computers began to spread, virtual architects creating various shapes on the screen with keyboards walked in the limelight. In addition, buildingslike convenience stores which connect with the network terminal and run like logistics warehouses and commercial facilities with large display screens have started emerging in the actual metropolises. Under such circumstances, there even emerged a rumor that “architecture” would be killed soon. It turned out that Information space is difficult to be visualized. New technology obliterated the architecture. Victor Hugo once said that books obliterated cathedrals. Will the new computer technologies make architecture disappear? Ito gave an answer which is “No”. He integrates computer technologies into his design and made architecture revive.

  I was deeply impressed by the opening of Sendai Mediatheque in 2001. On December 31, 2000, the countdown of the 21st century began. At zero o’clock,the glass door opened and people swarmed into the Sendai Mediatheque. On January 1, 2001, the very inception of a new millennium, Sendai Mediathequewas opened, announcing the coming of a new era of architecture. At the design competition of the first “Mediatheque” in Japan, it was required that thebuilding must be a new representative of the information era. Ito proposed to use tubes, skin and plates to substitute traditional elements such as pillarsand walls, and made the final success.

  When Ito gave a lecture at the seminar held at Rotterdam Architecture Museum in 2000, an audience pointed out that the Sendai Mediathequereminded people Antonio Gaudi’s architecture. It’s true. However, Gaudi pursues the possibility of the curvilinear structure covered by decorative elementsto arouse people’s sensory feelings, while Ito gave transparency to architecture which undoubtedly changed that impression. Gaudi represents Spain’sModernismo, or Art Nouveau. Therefore, it’s very interesting to compare the Art Nouveau sweeping Europe 100 years ago with the modern art representedby the Sendai Mediatheque emerging in the turning point of a new century.

  The Art Nouveau literally means “new art”, which is the criticism to the architecture in the 19th century when architecture ignored the possibilityof modernism and lost itself in stereotyped patterns. Thus, Art Nouveau, an advance guard putting aside all historical elements emerged. Actually, thishappened before the modernism stereotyped the design methods of the architecture. However, Art Nouveau gained inspiration from the nature and plantsfull of vitality. In fact, it was also known as “floral” Art Nouveau.

  The design of Sendai Mediatheque also referred to the image of plants. As we all know, a design starts with a sketch. In January 1995 at an airport, an idea suddenly occurred to Ito that six pillars were twisting and dancing inside a transparent box. Who can imagine that such an idea turned into a sketchlater? In fact, the sketch is named as “sea grass-like pillars” which was inspired by sea grasses swinging in an aquarium

  According to Ito, the Sendai Mediatheque has a forest-like space. The netted welded steel tubes look like trees, echoing the rows of zelkovaschneideriana in front. The uniform space is disorganized by inserted tubes. Based on “nature”, he created various places. There aren’t two same placesin the forest with fixed spaces between trees. He said, “Sendai Mediatheque is a laminated metropolis forest. It’s an intelligent architecture and forest.”(“transparent forest in the metropolis”, Transparency of Architecture). At the turning point of the century, nature inspired architects.

  Art nouveau was arguably born in the crisis of architecture. Architectures at the end of 19th century were sifted out with mechanization or theadvancement of the technologies of iron, glass and concrete. Architects who used to receive the academic education didn’t know how to use new materialsto replace stones and bricks; instead, they persisted in the architecture styles preserved as art in the past.

  It was those architects who didn’t receive formal professional education that created and exploited new structures, for example, Joseph Paxtonwho designed The Crystal Palace (1851) and Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, creator of Eiffel Tower (1889). In general, the architecture world of 19th centurycollapsed, falling into architects persisting in ancient and traditional styles and those starting using new raw materials. Art and technique, which used tocombine tightly together, was divided by a deep gap. Architecture as an art is going to extinct, but architecture without style but only calculated structuresis anything but art at more.

  Art nouveau, using the flexibility of iron, ponders on how to apply iron in architecture. Besides, in the design of metros, Art Nouveau also realized themodern system of the mass production of a same product. Ideologist Walter Benjamin pointed out in his Passage des Panoramas that “Art Nouveau is the final try of art sticking in the ivory tower which has been encapsulated by technologies.” That means while Art Nouveau introduced new technologies, itattempted to revive the architecture of art. This conception is still applicable even 100 years later.

  In the 1980s, post-modern architecture became popular, which, however, abused the existed styles. Ito refused to comply with the historical design; he

  emphasized on the images of plants just as Gaudi. Art Nouveau got rid of the stereotyped style of architecture in the 19th century and referred to plants. In the late 20th century, the tide of IT started rushing into the architecture world. With the rapid development of digital technology, a great change took place in the concept of space. What’s more, there had already surged up such crude discussions that “if all spaces become information terminals, we don’t need any designs of physical architectures”. However, Sendai Mediatheque generated a new geometric universe as if there were a Big Bang in the architecture

  universe.

  It is also manifested in Ito’s works. In the 1970s, Ito designed some buildings closed to the public like Nakano Honmachi’s house (1976). But, since the1980s, he has started to build architecture open to cities and pursuing the design of skin, such as Silver Hut (1984). The Tower of Winds (1986) reflects atrend free from the surroundings. In the Yatsushiro Municipal Museum (1991), he successfully integrated the building into the scenery via mound in thefront, making the bulk building look light. The concept of making large-sale architecture look light was successfully introduced to the construction of publicfacilities. Since then, in the 1990s, he moved his focus of work to public facilities across Japan.

  What‘s interesting is that Sendai Mediatheque has something in common with his early works although his style was changed. In the center of hismaiden work Aluminum House (1971), there’s a central vertical cylinder which guides light and acts as an information terminal at the same time. Thecylinder in the Aluminum House is closely associated with the tubes in the Sendai Mediatheque. In his works, transparency is also manifested in the verticaldirection apart from the horizontal direction. In addition, in Kasama’s House (1981), Ito discarded hierarchy and strived to create a plane space with floating morphologic segments.

  AFTER SENDAI MEDIATHEQUE

  Sendai Mediatheque reflects the characteristics of the information age. Even so, this building is extremely architectural, namely, its information isexpressed through the image and with the approach of architecture. No, more exactly, the previous“architecture” is eliminated architecturally. As theexternal elements of architecture, information technologies threat the existence of architecture itself, which is forcefully resisted by Ito. In informationage when Domino effect tends to happen easily, there is a conception of double bodies. Ito thinks that human beings have two bodies: one carries lifeexperiences, and the other tries to break through such experiences.

  The body stretching through digitD communication is different from the modern body. According to Ito’s research, the body of electric media needsfloating space unrestrained by places. In the 1960s, Herbert Marshall McLuhan (1911-80, Canadian philosopher of communication theory) stated thatclothes and shelters were the extension of our skin, while Ito thought that buildings should be the mediaDcoats of the slowly floating membrane.“Buildingsare the extended clothes, the extended mediaDcoats......Moreover, people covered by transparent media coats live in the virtual forest of nature and media.They are the Tarzan (the Superman in the forest, an virtual character created by American fictionist Edgar Rice Burroughs) in the forest of media” (Tarzanin the Forest of Media, Transparency of Architecture). They are buildings for the nomads in the digital world.

  As early as 1985, in the design of Dwelling for Tokyo Nomad Women, Ito provided a living state in a soft tent with a bed and a few pieces of furniturefor women. It’s different from buildings with classical Doric order or buildings designed by Le Corbusier with obvious manly characteristics. It’s not plump;actually, it‘s like a slender girl who hangs around convenience stores. The modern buildings are not adjusting devices to build healthy bodies. The new bodyis of liquidity. By the way, the body image of architecture in the new art age is also a tender woman, something interestingly imagined to be integrated withnature constantly and organically. It is for the appearance of information as the new nature that the two own the same image.

  However, the thought of Ito didn’t stop, but improved greatly. Just because of this, what he did in future activities after Sendai Mediatheque was really

  amazing.

  In 2004, when I was planning the successive seminar,“Alternative Solution·Modernism”, I found in his speech that he changed the conceptions offunction, abstraction, production and time and revealed new building principles including electronic functions, self-generating geometry, agriculturalproduction and nonlinear process. From his attitude toward architecture, I can feel as a real bearer of modernism, he also has the tenacious willpower togo beyond tradition. Needless to say, the key words he listed were not so much architectural as part naturally and part artificially garden-like. And in thespeech, the deepest impression Ito gave was that he tried to get rid of various constrains, or to reach enlightenment. Impressive are also his cooperationwith other architects, the shape of freedom, the sharp feeling for colors, and the animal space arousing the awareness of body. He is such an architect asactively devoted to change when relating with others.

  “Alternative Solution·Modernism”is created by me, based on the hypothesis that the presumable modernism may gradually appear. If postmodernismis the modifiable operation on buildings, Alternative Solution·Modernism releases the possibility of modernism converged in the internationalstyle again, while having various directionalities of new art and expressionism. Maybe, in the center of that possibility, Ito brought up the new geometry ofcreating complex space through simple rules and new decoration combining structures sometimes. In Japan, his architectural firm led by Kazuyo Sejima,has cultivated numerous architects and formed rich connections, and can be compared with architectural firms of Kiyonori Kikutake’s and Kenzo Tange’s where Ito once worked.

  In the early 21st century, Ito left Japan for Spain, Belgium, Britain, France, Singapore, Taiwan and America to launch activities all over the world.Moreover, it was understandable for him to pause after he finished Sendai Mediatheque and before entering the next stage. Amazingly, he didn’t pause,but continued to explore more vast areas. He created the Serpentine Gallery (2002) with a track finished at one stroke, the scheme of the tent like leafveins in Santa Cruz Park in Coimbra, TOD’s Omotesando Building (2004) covered by trees as a concrete elemental structure, wriggling Fukuoka Island CityCentral Park Grin Grin (2005), Taichung Metropolitan Opera House reminding people of organs etc. He is running at the forefront of modern buildings, as ifhe were possessed by deities.

  In the Tama Art University Library(2007), the arc-shaped structures avoided by modern buildings are standing. Even so, it doesn’t go back to the past simply, because the paralleled arc-shaped structures with different sizes don’t go with the common sense of classical architecture, and it is differentfrom expressionist buildings for there are bright cave-like spaces on a twisted plane. The 1st floor inclines gently with the ramp. The introduction of naturalgeography into a building stimulates us from the bottom of our feet. His individual exhibition“ArchitectureD Neo-realism”(2006) not only displayedmodules and drawings, but also tried scenery-type ground operation resorting to body feeling.

  This exhibition wasn’t a review of his past works, but introduced the bold attempts Ito made after the completion of Sendai Mediatheque. It interpretsthe current situation of Ito who created unprecedented design which aweing the world. In 2007, I listened to Ito‘s speech when presiding over the seminarmatching the“Neo-realism”exhibition tour. From his speech, I could feel that his speed of theoretical evolution was faster and faster, as if different timeswere flowing around him. Without repeated time, he must change constantly. This is troublesome for critics for to write an article about him, even standingon his latest practical stage, they would lag behind immediately. Therefore, the body image of Ito mentioned above may have moved to vivifying things such as feeling the joy of substance.

  Sendai Mediatheque seems to exist in the distant past.

  文_五十岚太郎

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