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Osaka, Italy

creato da Elena Guarneri ultima modifica 20/06/2008 15:14

East meets west in the current batch of Japanese-inspired buildings to be seen throughout Italy.

Kenzo TangeThe trend towards Japan and all things Japanese has taken over Italy. Japanese style is influencing everything from restaurants to household furnishings and gifts and architecture. Let's take a journey through Osaka, Italy.


Many of you will be familiar (whether you know it or not) with Fabrica's work. Fabrica is Benetton's Research and Development Communication Centre. Based in Catena di Villorba, just 12 km from Treviso, the centre supports the development of young artists and researchers from all over the world. It is located in a 17th Century villa which was ably reconceived by the award-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Ando, who hails from Osaka won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995. Ando's project built on the strengths of the original villa while creating a complex space with squares, atriums and galleries where natural light and water elements add to the poetry of the structure.

Bologna's White Towers
Osaka is also home to Kenzo Tange, winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1987. Amongst his most acclaimed works are Tokyo's International Forum and the Peace Park in Hiroshima. Those of you based in and around Bologna can admire his ultra-modern White towers which distinguish the Fiera District (Italy's second most important exhibition area). The towers were designed in 1967 as a contemporary take on Bologna's trademark Towers in Piazza Maggiore.

Stendhal's syndrome goes Japanese
Japanese architecture will return to the forefront this year thanks to an impressive renovation project planned to give a facelift to Florence's Uffizi Gallery. The project includes a modern exit onto Piazza Castellani which has been designed by Arata Isozaki, the architect synonymous with Barcelona's Olympic Stadium. The revamp of the gallery should (nothing is as yet certain) be well underway by summer 2002 and includes plans to turn the Capitol Cinema, opposite the gallery, into a Service Centre complete with bookshops, offices, gift outlets and information points. Work to both the Gallery's interior and exterior should be finished by the end of 2004 and the completed project will see a doubling of the Gallery's current display space - increasing from 7,000 square metres to an estimated 15,000. All dates given above depend on adequate financing, smooth-flowing bureaucracy and an absence of serious hitches - which judging by the current Undersecretary to the Arts', Vittorio Sgarbi, unfavourable reaction to Isozaki's project seem improbable.
The project is financed by the Ministery of the Arts, Florence City Council as well as a number of private companies including our old friend Benetton who donated a sizeable sum for the restructuring of the square and cinema.

Fabrica.it - - The official Fabrica website
Tadao Ando
The Uffizi Gallery
A new Loggia for the Uffizi
Bologna Fiera - - The official site of Bologna's Fair

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