History of Innovation

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1620: Katsura Imperial Villa

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Innovation: Katsura Imperial Villa
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Year: 1620
By: Kobori Enshu

Kobori Enshu, the architect of the Katsura Palace, rejected the ornate style of previous palaces and hoped to combine architecture with the natural setting of Kyoto. The building is made of a wood timber frame with tile roofs using triangular trusses. This is considered a pivotal piece in Japanese Architecture and stunned the world at the time of its construction. This building was devoid of decoration and had a different motive than previous architecture of the time. It worked to incorporate the surroundings and create a rustic simplicity. [1,2] The Old Shoin, Middle Shoin, and New Palace are each in the Shoin style with irimoya roofs.  Parallels to this building can be observed in modern day contemporary architecture. Bruno Taut, renowned German architect, wrote a book in the early 20th century, which attracted the attention of Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. Modernist architects began to be influenced by the Katsura Palace and found inspiration within its “minimal and orthogonal design.” [3]

Articles: 1,2,3


Written by Jennifer Chalos

October 8, 1620 at 6:31 am

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