1936: Fundamentals of Japanese Architecture (Book)
Innovation: Introduced Japanese architecture to U.S.
Location: Takasaki, Japan
Inventor: Bruno Taut
German architect, Bruno Taut, was highly known by his theoretical works, speculative writings and great buildings he designed. As a jew with social democratic sympathies, he had to leave Germany and move to Takasaki, Japan. There he produced a very influential book of Japanese culture and architecture, comparing the historical simplicity of Japanese architecture with modernist discipline. In the book he revealed interesting features of the Katsura Imperial Villa to the West, which amazed great architects like Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius by its modernity. Further, he articulated the relationship between proportion, site, and logic in Japanese architecture. Under these principles, he designed Villa Okura by making extensive use of horizontal sun-shading devices in order to block direct sunlight during the summer months while allowing the warm air to rise and escape through the high windows, creating both ventilation and air movement. Even though his works as an architect are not very popular, his writings influenced well-known architects which introduced Japanese architecture into the U.S.