Dezeen Magazine

Sumu Yakashima co-operative housing project in Japan

"If only the same care could be lavished on every building" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing Sumu Yakashima, a co-operative housing project in Japan that aims to positively impact its natural setting.

Designed by architect Tsukasa Ono, the co-operative community on Japan's Yakushima island uses a "regenerative" approach to improve the soil it's built on by promoting the growth of mycelium and bacteria.

Sumu Yakushima is a community created by eight co-owners

"Grand in concept and execution"

Commenters are in awe of the "compelling" project.

"A superbly configured project that illustrates how to interconnect humans via its structure," wrote Romeo Reyes.

George Panagos agreed. "What a commendable project," they said. "The thoughtfulness and care right through from conception and research to design, material choice and construction, down to the smallest detail, results in a simple and functional end result. If only the same care and expertise (and money) could be lavished on every building."

Marius was similarly impressed. "Grand in concept and execution," they wrote. "Yet another design discipline lesson from Japan."

Pa Varreon, meanwhile, called the project "a great philosophical statement for a mentally healthy, civilized life".

Were you bowled over by Sumu Yakashima? Join the discussion ›

BLDG Workshop Badlands Home
Badlands Home has weathering-steel detailing

"Some strange planning decisions"

Readers are divided over BLDG Workshop's all-white Badlands Home in rural Ontario, which features Corten steel details in reference to the surrounding area's "unique red earth features".

Steve Hassler thought the home was "just beautiful", while Apsco Radiales accused it of being "lavish [and] spread out".

Puzzello wasn't fully on board with some of the interior finishes. "I appreciate the raw material pallet and minimalistic approach, but disagree with the 'West Elm' appointments," they wrote.

"Some strange planning decisions," lamented JZ. "Punched openings are not well resolved [and are] too compositional to be background, but are not considered enough to reinforce the rest of the gestures. And the interior is just neither here nor there – no points of emphasis, rich patterning or warmth."

Conversely, Will M Sea was entirely sold on the project, commenting: "Stunning."

What do you think of Badlands Home? Join the discussion ›

Ark Nova by Arata Isozaki and Anish Kapoor
Japanese architect Arata Isozaki died last week aged 91

"A giant has left the stage"

Commenters paid tribute to Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who died last week at the age of 91. The influential architect was known both for his early Japanese brutalism, including the Ōita Prefectural Library, and later international modernist buildings such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Reflecting on his legacy, commenter Duckusucker wrote, "What a brilliant talent. No signature 'schtick', just beauty and function. Japan has no rivals when it comes to the number of brilliant architects."

"There is a beautiful museum by Isozaki in Cracow, Poland," wrote Karol_B in response to the news of his death. "Flowing, light, contextual. He was taking aesthetics of the time like brutalism, postmodernism, regionalism, blob and deconstructivism, but always making it his own."

"Goodbye to a great," wrote Lindsay O'Carroll, while Duckusucker again chimed in: "A giant has left the stage."

Which is your favourite Arata Isozaki project? Join the discussion ›

Interior of the kitchen at Under The Top house by No Architects
No Architects added bespoke joinery and modern details to a Prague home

"Those two eggs really top the project for me"

Readers were delighted by No Architects' "seamless" renovation and extension of a 1920s villa in Prague. The Czech studio added bespoke joinery and modern details to complement the home's original architecture, which was built in a romantic style that references the steep-pitched roofs and brick cladding of arts and crafts-style English villas.

"Love the clean lines, the simple gestures and the quiet flourishes," wrote JZ. "With the historic muted greens and blues complementing the wood, it reminds me of Shaker modernism here in the States. (Still convinced they beat everyone in the west to the punch). Really beautiful spaces."

J Hooker was similarly taken with the renovation, writing: "Nice job!"

"Those two eggs really top the project for me," said commenter Jim Hatson in reference to Studio Flusser's photograph of the kitchen in action. "That and the bookshelf. Well done."

Are you a fan of No Architects' renovation? Join the discussion ›

Comments update

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