Friday, March 5, 2010

Ring House Nagano, Japan

I ran across the Ring House, designed by Takei-Nabeshima-Architects (TNA) the other day, and was enchanted. This blog tends to focus on the history of the Arts and Crafts movement, but I'm always on the lookout for modern design that reflects the principles of beauty, simplicity and utility that the Arts and Crafts movement celebrated.

Just looking at this lovely home is relaxing! Created from rings of glass and wood, the Ring House was completed in 2006 and has a 360-degree view of the forest. Because of the rings of windows, you are able to look directly through the house from every side to the woods beyond.

In his writings, William Morris continuously emphasised the importance of creating new architecture that celebrated the best of the simple medieval aesthetic, while discouraging historical reproductions (faux gothic and the like). In the past, I've struggled with this particular aspect of Morris' writing. After all, we've all seen pretty terrible examples of contemporary architecture. I've often asked myself, why not just reproduce things from the past that were beautiful and useful? I'm slowly coming around to a different point of view, however. In my view, the Ring House is an example of how we can live in and celebrate contemporary architecture while respecting the best of design traditions.

For more information, please visit the TNA website. Photo by Daici Ano courtesy


Lorenzo at the Alchemist's Pillow said...

Quite nice. I especially liked the photos on the site you link to with the interior shots of the ring house looking out. The bathtub with 360ยบ of forest around you --- wow.

M.Kate said...

WOW! what an artistic piece :) Happy week ahead Margaret..and big kisses to the baby :)