Penguin Environmental Design

Kamo River – Water to divide life and death

In Japan,  people think that water sometimes becomes a border to divide two different worlds. Kamo River, which runs through Kyoto City, also used to be thought as the border to separate the world for the living from that for the dead. There was a crematory in the area called Toribeno. This area is located at […]

Garden for Salvation – Cosmology in Japanese Gardens

One of the reasons why people build gardens is to materialize their images of heaven. Good examples are seen in Japanese gardens and other gardens in the world. Historically, since Buddhism has influenced Japanese culture throughout history, the image of heaven in many Japanese gardens is defined by Buddhist cosmology. “Nine Mountains and Eight Oceans” is a part of the cosmology of Buddhism. It […]

Japanese Architecture in Winter

Accoording to Yoshida Kenko’s famous Essays in Idleness (: Tsurezuregusa), “On buidling a house, it should be designed to suit the summer. In winter, one can live anywhere.” Really? Now I live in Connecticut, I am a little hesitant to agree with him, especially “living anywhere in winter” part. We had some snow last night, even though it has been […]

Cat’s Eye View of Japanese Architecture vol.1

Architects often visualize objects through a “bird’s eye view”. But at PED, we try to use a “cat’s eye view”, instead. Why? A view through “bird’s eye” is an image of space that you would never actually see as a human being. It would make you understand the total form of architecture, but if you never see it once built, what […]

Map from 1886 Showing the Original Kyoto Station

This interesting map was published in Kyoto in 1886. I encounterd it in doing a reasearch for my seminar. It is only about 20 years after the Meiji Restration, yet to my surprise, the map carries an image of original Kyoto station. It is an one-story building at the photo’s center that almost looks like a barn. Can you find […]

Japanese + Modern