Hiroshi Hara: Nature Inspired Architect

Hiroshi Hara’s buildings have earned him a unique reputation. He’s been called astylistic. An architect without style. This is because one of Hara’s idiosyncrasies is that his work is inspired not by style but by what he calls the laws of nature.

He cites the natural villages on the hillsides of the Greek Cyclades Islands and the rainforests of South America as ideals. He considers such natural structures the very “focus of the universe” .

Yamato International Building Grecian Village Look alike

The Yamato International Building resembles a Mediterranean hillside village.

Search for Hara’s work on Google and the first building you’ll get is the Kyoto Train Station (pictured above), a massive structure housing the station, a mall, several local government facilities, a hotel, and a movie theatre under one 15-story roof . Incidentally, this is one of the buildings I remember best from my first time in Japan in 2005. I recall its huge walkway with its several levels of escalators and several story trussed curtain wall. We were there at night, and the space was dark. Even the lighting copied the natural. I remember being a little puzzled as to why the space needed to be so large; still, it was impressively conceived, and a bit like being in a rain forest.


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