Saturday, 31 October 2015

Design is in the detail

In contrast to the vast land availability, moderate population size and dominance of single detached dwellings of the Australian landscape, it appears the threat of natural disaster, large population and also space constraints due to mountainous typography has forced Japan to be innovative and precise when planning urban development.

Observations of the built environment clearly illustrate a common higher density housing and distinct multiple storey style, where much of the regional residential housing does not exist below 2-3 floors high. The prominent culture and attention to detail is depicted everywhere from texture and pattern of external tiling and paving, to the emphasis on immaculate gardens, shared green spaces, rectilinear lines, and the contrast of heights and textures. Due to the dominance of hard surfaces and built structures it is understandable that Japan would place so much emphasis on shared spaces and gardens to break up concrete landscape.


In addition, a highly executed transit system and bike infrastructure not only provide ease of movement for the Japanese population but the system also appears to have grown and adapted with western influences to become a part of their social and lived culture. Due to the sheer masses of people using transit Japan has had no choice but to adapt a highly executed transport system to cope.

The emphasis on preparation within new construction to withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes is another aspect of Japanese construction, where heritage buildings other than designated tourist attractions and temples are often deemed obsolete, not suitable to endure tremors. And consequently they are often demolished to make room for high rise commercial development designed to sway wit earth movement.


Within the Tokyo business district buildings are continually replaced with new improved and earthquake resistant replicas which are additionally built upon and created into high rise development. This has become big business for developers within areas of Tokyo where they compete to meet the need for buildings as businesses strive to secure offices in skyscrapers­ in high profile locations.

Leah Morris