so on christmas i went for a 2 hour bike ride. interesting for ME, not so interesting for YOU. but, it just so happens that, on this particular bike ride, i was coming over one of tokyo’s low hils, wheni happened to see an impossible building. maybe it was just some holiday brainwashing, but my first thought was, "Is that. . . .A SKYSCRAPER SHAPED LIKE A KID’S DRAWING OF A CHRISTMAS TREE???"
by which, i don’t mean it was decorated with xmas junk, lights, star on top, etc. i mean it was literally constructed as a vertical series of triangles, one atop the other. all year round.
funny thing though – when it’s a 400 foot tall building instead of a cute little crayon drawing, it’s not pleasant to look at. it’s all crazy and disorienting and vaguely dystopian.
anyway i biked down there and asked them what is the problem with this crazy, why-is-it-not-falling-down-as-we-speak kind of building.
answer is: hotel SOFITEL.
(2-1-48 ikenohata, taito-ku, tokyo, in case you want to see it for yourself).
the designer is Kikutake Kiyonori. here’s his webpage. (click on ‘projects’ and then on ‘hotels’ to see more of his nutty, ‘Fuck you, Gravity!’ style work)
my friend Nate the singer for DUDMAN pointed this building out to me a while ago, and i just now (accidentally) found it again. the name of the building?
with that name, you’d think it would be a puffy, baby-blue cloud of a building, wouldn’t you? an ergonomically-correct, easy-on-the-eyes, full-of-windows type edifice, right?
it’s the fucking Battleship Yamato. even more funny: it’s a RESIDENTIAL BUILDING.
here’s the front view?:
and a close up of the bizarre ‘wings’ that sort of canteliever out from it:
weird, non-euclidian angles, assymetry, sort of an m.c. geiger (h.r. escher??) with a touch of Imperial Death Star thrown in for good measure.
even the lobby is weeeeird: they sort of have this ‘spinal cord’ motif on the flor and the alleyway suddenly bifurcates like your trachea when it splits into 2 lungs…. total Geiger action…
anyway it’s a good place to visit…. right next to DON QUIXOTE , just west of meji -dori.
update; so, just when i’m starting to update again…i’ve got final exams coming next week. bad news, right?
well, fear not… i’ve written a shitload of rants, which i can post during my studying spree. so i will continue to update every day.
was biking around at 3 am because i couldn’t sleep and accidentally ran into this wonderful imitation Antonio Gaudi building. but it was too dark to take pictures, so i went home. 3 months later i finally found it again!
if you’re in town, check it out: 517 waseda – tsurumaki-sho, shinjuku-ku , near waseda subway station. touzai line.
built around 20 years ago by Monjuko, a famous kenchikuka (architecht).
shit, i can spell japanese better than english now.
his website is http://www.vonjourcaux.com/
EVENT: INSANE BUILDING.
I’ve seen fake-gaudi buildings in tokyo. and i’ve seen lots of advertisements for a museum exhibit of Gaudi’s buildings. no, he’s not an Italian handbag designer. he was this insane Spanish architect from last century and he’s big inTokyo. Almost as big as the Belgian Pissing Boy. Anyway he did all these buildings that looked like they were melting, kind of a psycedelic version of Art Noveau.. LIke Salvidor Dali Meets Aubrey Bearsley. Look, it’s my website and i can make whatever metaphors i want. You’re on a computer, you can use Google, ok?
anyway, in Tokyo I’ve seen good fake-gaudi, and bad fake-gaudi. but this is the the first time i saw H.P. LOVECRAFT and GAUDI having a baby right in the middle of the damn street.
jesus! it’s like "hi! welcome to R’leh! my name is Nyarlathotep and i’ll be your activities director / crawling chaos for the evening!" all of gaudi’s melty, art-noveau corners have been totally smooshed and deformed almost beyond recognition. like there are no corners on this damn thing. hmmm . . maybe the architect was just scared of the Hounds of Tindalos.
If a building could gibber, i’d be deaf right now.
the side is a LITTLE more Art Nouveau-ish. but what the hell is up with the TWIN SPINAL COLUMNS?
damn, now we have to reference h.r. geiger too.
Here on the first floor, there’s a little bar. I went in and asked the bartender, what is up with that?
he said the building was designed and built 28 years ago by a man called BOU-san. i didn’t ask what happened to Bou-san. I assume he’s currently residing in the Arkham Asylum.
the building is somewhere in minami-ikibukuro. i would have gotten the address but i was drunk. sue me.No comments