Kazuo Shinohara: 3 Houses
Architecture and Sensualism
This mostly black-and-white brochure in an extremely large format presents three works from various phases in the career of Japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara (1925–2006) in a lavish and highly elegant design. The various components are all handled separately but blend together into a harmonious whole: the abstract dust jacket, extremely detailed and newly drawn plans, outstandingly reproduced black-and-white photographs, individual pale-coloured sketches, singular sheets of coloured paper separating the book’s sections, and the short texts in German and Japanese set in a large typeface. The longer essay section at the end, with two columns of justified text, is enlivened by the unconventional but very pleasing placement of the reference illustrations. The architecture is presented generously and favourably from all angles, making it appear attractive and even, at times, sensual. As a result, the book appeals to a readership that extends far beyond a specialist audience. The involvement of five designers in total underscores the effort and attention to detail devoted to its production.