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Akihiko Hamada on Architecture and Travel

Interview Date: 19-09-2012
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VIEW the entire interview on VIDEO!

What do you think is the importance of Architectural Tourism?

When I was at my mid ’30s, I traveled from east coast of the U.S. to west coast, in a “zigzag” way. The trip lasted 45 days and it was like an architecture tour with my family. I travelled from Philadelphia to Boston, Detroit to Chicago down to the Indianapolis, Yellowstone and L.A. so I had travelled 10000 miles in 45 days and I had seen so much good architecture that made me understand what it really is. That kind of experience I think formed my basic knowledge I even now have, so visiting architecture sites is really important for architects.

What is the importance of architectural events (like W.A.F.) worldwide? What are the profits for a city holding such kinds of major events?

The W.A.F is a very much frost and unique event for architects.  I have been here 4 times since 2008 and for the last 2 years we were one of the sponsors and we sponsored evening lectures. I was part of the jury team and I think it was really dynamic to hear public, open discussion competition from juries with 50-60 people. It is really competitive and you can learn a lot from foreign architects about how to treat architecture which is really good. Also one thing I want to point out and I already had done it last year here is, that this event is about architecture but there is too much architecture; we need a client, so we don’t have to live at a small world. So I think, at these wonderful events, clients should also attend and we can discuss and enjoy architecture with them as well.

We can say that most architecture photos of buildings do not include any people. What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Is it important to photograph a building in use or by itself?

Mostly in architecture magazines there are very few people in photographs. I think architecture is not the building; architecture needs the people to live at it. The architecture magazines should have people and buildings together. We are not just artists; we are architects and that means the combination or people and architecture. So people should be in the photographs.

At the end, could you please provide your personal proposal for 10 buildings (constructed and visitable) which you think as the most important worldwide that someone must visit anyway?

“Falling-water” designed by Frank Lloyd Wright at the coast of Pittsburg .The use of water, at this building, gives a sense or cooperation of nature and architecture. Nature is coming through invigorating the architecture. We can feel the temperature and conditions of outside even in the inside. So, I recommend this one for sure. 



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Akihiko Hamada

Akihiko Hamada

Architect
Country: Japan
Visit website

Bio

Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
Senior Executive Officer
Principal, Architectural Design DepartmentAkihiko Hamada, with Master’s Degrees in Architecture from both the University of Pennsylvania and Waseda University, combines a boundless passion for architectural design with keen management skills. A member of Nikken since 1977, he currently supervises 13 design studios and plays a leading role in high-profile overseas and domestic projects. Mr Hamada has earned a number of awards, most recently the JIA Architecture Award and the Award for Sustainable Architecture from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation.

:: Photo information and credits:

1 > Toyota Motors Main Building, Aichi – Japan, 2005, Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
Image courtesy of Nikken Sekkei Ltd.

2 > Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers, Nagoya – Japan, 2008, Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
Image courtesy of Kenich Suzuki

3 > Shiodome Sumitomo Building, Tokyo – Japan, 2004, Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
Image courtesy of Shinozawa Kenchiku Shashin Jimusho

4 > NEC Corporation Tamagawa Renaissance City, Kawasaki – Japan, 2005, Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
Image courtesy of Tomio Onashi

5 > Hotel Grand Arc Hanzomon, Tokyo – Japan, 1999, Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
Image courtesy of Studio Murai