Archived entries for Architecture

Mujiland has arrived


In the suburbs of Tokyo, instead of Gibson’s Chiba sprawl, you will soon find a glistening new Muji village accomodating 152 homebuyers in February 2010. Developed in collaboration with real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate, it is a nine-storey, three building complex that is the ultimate manifestation of Zen that Muji maintains in their product line, where even flip-flops are divine.


The concept for the village is based around three concepts: Green, plain and community. Green for trees, plain for simplicity and flexibility, and community for common spaces. Although the Muji village looks like a vacation resort, it still conveys the Muji philosophy which is based upon the absence of style, identity and remarkableness. What this achieves is a normalcy that is beyond normal. In this type of architecture, the buildings are so ordinary that they become remarkable. Another characteristic of this community is the subculture of Muji aficionados – now they will literally have common ground.

Fire stations

While queuing at the post office, i found pictures of this amazing Feuerwehrzentrale (fire station), designed by BFM achitecture studio in Cologne (Germany).

The circular building, surrounded by with a lattice of red concrete, houses the fire brigade and the elongated part accommodates the offices and the school.


Made me think of another very stylish Firestation , designed by Zaha Hadid‘s in Weil am Rhein (near Basel, Switzerland), on the site of the Vitra Museum .

The firehouse is part of Vitra’s program of building structures by world renowned architects, including Tadao Ando’s Conference Pavilion, Frank Gehry’s Design Museum and Alvaro Siza’s Production Hall. The building had been designed to serve the Vitra complex which at the time fell outside the range of neighboring fire districts.

The building functioned as a firehouse until the whole complex was finally covered by a nearby fire department. The building is now used by Vitra to showcase a part of its collection of classic chairs (see their mini-version).

Inside the building, optical tricks are being played on the viewer and i suspect the firemen have been quite relieved to leave the gorgeous but so impractical station. I stepped into the bathroom when i visited it and felt sea-sick because of these plays of perspectives and i didn’t fancy the nearly transparent doors either. The kitchen was quite weird too. The sink was so low that it seemed to have been conceived for dwarves. Lady Hadid, however, makes gorgeous chandeliers.

Image Cologne,

ah, another impractical building by our favorite architect around here…

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