Saturday, October 10, 2009

A.L.X.'s Sorte House

The A.L.X. office (Architect Label Xain) creates architecture that speaks for itself. There is no symbolism, no hidden meaning no process that you have to go through to connect with their works... The whole concept is understood with a glance. A pure example of this interpretation is the ‘Sorte’ project. A four-story residence with a lower ground level, which was completed on June 2008 in Shibuya, Tokyo // Japan.

Looking at this structure in its surrounding cityscape the words that describe it are exactly what it is – 3-dimensional, angular, asymmetrical, cubistic and 3 point perspective. It stands out provokingly but yet invitingly in the sense that you thank this structure for rising on this particular site giving across dynamism and character. via Yatzer

If there is something I love about Japanese modern architecture, it's the honesty and the "no b.s. stuff" stuffed into it. This house, albeit stands out, neither alienate nor harmonize with its context. Just a thought though, some (rather a lot) works of modern architecture are more appreciated if it's in a context where it can stand out. Juxtaposition of modern buildings in Europe are more apparent, especially when standing side by side an old building or within a historical quarter.

Am I just forgetting that the initial design process involves site studies entailing a contextual response such as the contrast of this house? Would that mean, any architect, designer, or even client, just want the house to stand out and be talked about? Does that mean architectural juxtaposition is just a show of insecurity and ego?

If it was, the design solution must have been about mimicking the silhouette of a traditional house to make the structure respond well to its familiar context without losing its modernity... It is like toning down the bravado of an architectural statement. There is also a possibility that it's an honest voice of design that result to this coincidence of architectural response... It is definitely possible that it can be a balance of ego and honest voice.

All Photos by Koichi Torimura


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