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Review: Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design

Published by Rizzoli New York, Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design covers the first decade of Takada’s practice and his innovative designs.

Review: Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design

The first monograph from Hong Kong born, Sydney-based architect, Koichi Takada, has been published by Rizzoli New York and the exemplary publication delves deep into the mind of this formidable architect through compelling text and outstanding imagery.

Titled Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design, and with a foreword from Kengo Kuma, the scene is set for something very special in a publication that spans the first decade of Takada’s practice.

The exterior cover of Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design

Renowned for his innovative and creative designs, the projects included showcase the detail, form and function of Takada’s visions, with nature ever present and central to every concept. It is made obvious that Takada has a deep connection and understanding of nature and this premise, that totally informs his work, is beautifully brought to life through double page spreads that visually connect the natural world with the man-made.

Text is from the pen of Philip Jodidio, a respected author and art and architecture expert, who captures Takada and his work perfectly. Jodidio assesses and explores the thought processes behind Takada’s work, and also provides insight into the architect’s life, Japanese heritage and multi-layered architectural journey.

An inside spread of Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design showing a photo of Takada and blurred writing.

Nineteen projects are featured in Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design and projects range from restaurants and cafés, social spaces, multi-residential and mixed-use buildings. What is interesting about the curation of projects is the inclusion of commissions in progress, to be completed in the near future.

The opening project is the signature ARC, in Sydney and the brick curves are just as beautiful on the page as in real life. Also of note are restaurants, Cave, Sydney and Ippudo, Sydney for their respective form and elegance.

An inside spread of Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design showing Takada's work.

Overseas projects such as the Desert Rose Café and Café 875 in Doha are compelling as are the National Museum of Qatar Gift Shops. The Timber Studio in Tokyo, Japan is extraordinary in its imaginative design while Sky Trees, Los Angeles will become a new landmark when completed in 2025.

A wonderful feature in the project spreads, that vary but are generally 10 pages each, is a luxurious image of the natural concept that influences each design. For example, Paperbark, Melbourne features a detail of the peeling bark of the Paperbark tree in all its layered structure: While in Skye, Sydney there is an expansive image of the Great Barrier Reef and its magical blue water.

An inside spread of Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design showing images of Takada's work.

In all, this book is a visual feast and truly does justice to the architect’s work. It will satisfy the rigorous examination of an  architect but also provide immense pleasure for the layman. Whether it sits in the library or on a coffee table, this large and heavy tome is fabulous on every level – from layout, imagery and plans, binding, typeface and paper and, of course, the wonderful projects that spring from the page and come to life.

As an architect Takada is much lauded and it is good to see his work in one place to be appreciated and admired. As Takada says in his ‘Afterword’, “The making of this publication commemorates the first decade of my practice, but also hopes to identify the next one.” This it certainly does on every level.

The back cover of Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design

Find out more about Koichi Takada Architecture, Nature and Design here.

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