Mind-Bending Architecture of Italy and Japan Celebrated at Museo Carlo Bilotti

Archizoom Associati’s 1968 drawing is appearing at the Museo Carlo Bilotti in Rome. Image courtesy of the Università Degli Studi di Parma Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione.

Fumihiko Maki of Maki and Associates’s 1967 rendering of his conceptual Golgi Structures. Image by Maki and Associates.


Italy and Japan just marked the 150th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, and the celebrations continue this year with “Architettura Invisibile/Invisible Architecture,” at Rome’s Museo Carlo Bilotti through March 26. As explained by ambassador Umberto Vattani, president of the exhibition’s co-organizer, the Fondazione Italia Giappone, “Architecture is born in the imagination before giving shape and personality to our cities. This show connects the two edges of Eurasia, demonstrating surprising parallels and similarities.” Two avant-garde movements from the 1960’s and ’70’s, Italy’s Radicalism and Japan’s Metabolism, are contrasted with contemporary work—think Archizoom Associati, Superstudio, and Maki and Associates in the former category and Alphaville Architects Co., OFL Architecture, and Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop in the latter.


A 2011 conceptual rendering by OFL Architecture. Image by OFL Architecture.

Koyasan Guest House Kokuu, a Japanese capsule hotel by Alphaville Architects Co., 2012. Photography courtesy of Alphaville Architects Co.

Marine City sketch by Kiyonori Kikutake, 1963. Image courtesy of Kiyonori Kikutake.


Concept panel by OFL Architecture. Image by OFL Architecture. 

Fumihiko Maki and Masato Otaka. The bustle of Shinjuku Terminal, collage, 1960. Image courtesy of Maki and Associates, National Archives of Modern Architecture.


> See more from the January 2017 issue of Interior Design

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