The single-minded image…Kazuo Shinohara’s Ashitaka House_1977_SAN ROCCO format.

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Generally regarded as an ‘architect’s architect’, Shinohara was content in his early work to ring the changes on reductively modernized versions of the traditional Japanese house. This changed, however, with his so-called House with a Big Roof in 1961, Tokyo. Thereafter his houses tended to be identified not by the place where they were built but by the single-minded image that was the basis of their design. He subsequently produced eccentric works with earthen floors and strange, high-pitched interior volumes entirely devoid of furniture. This obsession with an existential iconic architecture reached its apotheosis in a series of stark concrete houses designed between 1970 and 1976: Incomplete House and House at a Crooked Corner, both in Tokyo, a house in Uehara and one in Ashitaka. Together they formed a monumental series that brought this phase of his work to a conclusion.

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