What Architecture for me is...

by nobutaka ashihara

noby's philosophy



rchitecture, to me, is one of the essential elements to make you feel happy. Expressed another way, architecture is the comfortable, insulating fortress. But in my opinion, architecture has more important purposes than just protection from intruders and controlling rain, wind, heat and humidity.


In your daily life, there are basically two aspects of activities: one that is private and the other that is public. Through the transition flowing from public to private, each step requires appropriate spaces. Architecture must satisfy the necessary and adequate degree of privacy.


The private activities, such as sleeping, making love, resting, excretion and so forth, and the public activities such as working, learning, playing, communicating, enjoying entertainment, these activities definitely require the spaces appropriate to each of them. You can say that architecture creates these spaces artificially.


But just by satisfying these required functions but neglecting your emotions, you do not feel happiness. For that reason, such aspects like identity, monumentality, and atmosphere must also be integral to architecture. In addition, one must be extremely sensitive to human perceptions like spaciousness, proportion, color, brightness, sense of touch, temperature, humidity, air flow, smell, sound and so forth. With these concepts taken into account, architecture can create comfortable and joyful spaces.


You must also realize that there is always a client to architecture. One must understand the client's need in terms of function, time and cost requirements. It must be also be clearly understood where and for whom the architecture is intended.


One of the difficult aspects of the architecture is that it must not only accommodate the client's needs, but it must also also pay serious attention to the parties who do not use or are involved in the architecture directly, for example passers by. Architecture must be sensitive to these people's feelings and preferences, too.


In many cases, architecture is created for income-generating purpose as an investment. This is the reason that architecture must include the marketing requirements in terms of function and appearance. But it is important to note that accommodating groups of people other than a client will, in fact, stimulate the marketability of the project.


In a sense, the general public, not only the owner, should welcome and embrace the architecture, and one must strive to accomplish this difficult task within the economical, technical and scheduling constraints as well as legal limitations.



We are a member of A-Architect Net!

world wide architecture network





ARCHITECTS.NET is the worldwide network of architects centered around Yoshinobu Ashihara Architect and Associates established by Yoshinobu Ashihara FAIA Japan's leading architect (1918-2003), his son's TARO ASHIHARA ARCHITECTS and his nephew, Nobutaka Ashihara Architect.


The main objective of the network is to seek a fresh approach to architecture through the effective collaboration of the network members.


The headquarters are located in A-ARCH.BLDG, completed on October 2007 in Tokyo. The building also houses offices of network members including Yoshinobu Ashihara Architect and Associates, Taro Ashihara Architects and other local network offices. They maintain a close working relationship in architectural practices.


In addition, Yoshinobu Ashihara Gallery and the Library are located there and actively promote cultural activities such as the Yoshinobu Ahihara Travel Scholarship and the Yoshinobu Ashihara Digital Forum (http://www.ashihara.jp).