Modernism, Japanese Carpentry, and the Garden: Preserving the Architecture of Junzo Yoshimura
Traditional Japanese design shares common ground with Mid-century modern aesthetics in the emphasis on buildings and the outdoors as integrated spaces, and in abiding by a principle of artful simplicity and functionality. Revered Japanese architect Junzo Yoshimura (1908 -1997) and Russell Wright (1904-1976) are two of the design stalwarts from the last century who have explored this nexus between the two design traditions and executed their vision through notable examples of Modernist architecture in a garden setting.
Yoshimura is known for "subtle, intimate spaces that employ traditional Japanese materials and techniques while exploring modernist principles."* His rigorous design is exemplified at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Philadelphia, PA and the Tea House in Kykuit, The Rockefeller Estate, Tarrytown, NY. This legacy opens our eyes both to mid-century design and the preservation challenges it creates.
Yoshimura's contemporary, mid-century designer Russell Wright has also left his mark in modernist architecture and restorative environments with a Japanese flair, most memorably through a National Historic Landmark in Garrison, NY: the Manitoga /Russell Wright Design Center which showcases the designer's home / studio nestled within a 75-acre woodland garden, and which Wright considers the most personally satisfying design project of his career. The estate is a masterpiece of the integration of the built and natural environment, the influence of Japanese design, the juxtaposition of natural and synthetic materials, all with an eye towards efficiency and functionality.
Day two of the weekend will include a Heritage Preservation Workshop hosted at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia.Participants will have a rare opportunity to learn about an actual preservation project in progress through a series of demonstrations and lectures about preserving Shofuso (Pine Breeze Villa), a traditional shoin-zukuri Japanese house designed by Yoshimura in 1953 and built in Nagoya, Japan using traditional materials and techniques. Workshop sessions include the following:
Japanese carpentry demonstration
Historic preservation and condition reporting with practicum by participants
Hinoki roof demonstration
Advanced Registration required.