Friday, October 8, 2010

Japan House: A Building That Builds Relationships

Japan Society: a vivisection.
New York City is a little global town. Each block, corner and street contains the swirling, multicultural fingerprints shaped by the people who live here.  We hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it and ever see the impact of the proverbial melting pot on our everyday lives. But one thing we might not notice--because of their permanence, their ubiquity, or their size--are the city's mammoth cultural beacons: the buildings.

On October 9 and 10, the eighth annual OHNY Weekend celebrates New York City's varied architecture and design, from the classic to the more exotic. For the fourth year in a row, Japan Society participates in OHNY with tours of its building (currently fully booked) and free admission to the Gallery show The Sound of One Hand.

Japan Society's building has been the center of the Society's mission to build understanding between the people of U.S. and Japan since it openend in 1971. Joe Earle, director of Japan Society Gallery notes that the building, designed by Junzo Yoshimura as the first example of contemporary Japanese architecture in New York, is a free adaptation of traditional Japanese architecture:
In Japan House (as Japan Society’s building was first called when it opened in 1971) we see a subtle blend of Japanese sensibility with contemporary materials and a modernist aesthetic. Although the building has undergone two campaigns of adaptation and extension over the years, its original atmosphere is especially well preserved in the lobby area with its low, modular, precast concrete ceiling, slate and timber surfaces, bamboo pond and stairs leading invitingly up to the gallery.
Though the Japan Society tours are full, we hope you have a chance to explore the building and the exhibition. In addition to the hundreds of buildings showcased throughout the city,  OHNY Weekend features a family festival to give children hands-on activities to discover and appreciate the beauty of New York City’s abundant architecture. Wherever the weekend takes you, and whatever your age, enjoy the places you pass by everyday in new and unexpected ways!


No comments: