i bought a book in nyc in ’98 or ’99, a book on the works of japanese architect shin takamatsu. i’d never heard of the architect before so i’m not sure why i bought the book, but buy it i did. looking through it later i became captivated by a building called ‘Origin I’. the elevations of the building felt like something i had never seen before – i used to stare at it – trying to figure out why it was the way it was. the front elevation (pictured above) seemed like it took its inspiration from the same places that elements of ‘blade runner’ took its from.
when i was in japan in october 2008, we had some time in kyoto. not too much time though, but i remembered that the building was somewhere near the parts of the city we would be going to. our final day in kyoto involved us taking our luggage to the train station – getting the tickets organised and then rambling around the city for a few hours. despite me wanting to see the building, i had done almost no research on where it was in the city – i had a vague idea that it was north of the train station. so off we ventured walking north on the street i knew it to be on (but no idea where on the street it was).
at the same time i was asking a japanese friend (via email) and some friends back in helsinki (via twitter i think) about its address/location. one of the replies came via email and was a google maps link – which didnt work on my phone because of the characters not being recognised. on we continued northwards before i noticed that the google maps link (pictured above) had the gps coordinates of the building. so i was able to get a good idea of where we were going based on the coordinates in comparison to the position. on we walked, almost 4,5km north before we found the builiding.
the route is us starting at the train station, walking north for about 4,5km, then finding the building (and taking the pictures below) before a cab journey to the kyoto imperial palace.
below are some of my pictures of the building. the building was smaller than i expected but still very odd – especially in its context, i think i remember that there was a school nearby.
umbrellas left outside, i love little things like this – like dogs waiting outside shops – the sign of a person feeling comfortable in their environment.
more pictures that i took of shin takamatsu buildings here on flickr.