Tomas Maier and Bottega Veneta campaign to save Japanese Modernist architecture

While traditional Japanese architecture is cherished by many, much of the country’s post-war structures are at risk of being demolished or changed beyond recognition. In preparation for the 2020 Olympics, a few of the most significant examples of Modernist Japanese architecture are at risk of being lost forever. Having overcome the doubt over their deep-seated traditions, Japanese architects seamlessly fused classic Japanese aesthetics with Modernist design. Such designs reflect the spirit of Japan’s post-war optimism and creativity, yet there have been minimal efforts to preserve them. Bottega Veneta has recently launched a project to support the recognition and honouring of these buildings.

Tomas Maier, Creative Director of Bottega Veneta and architecture enthusiast says, “As a longtime admirer of Japanese Modernism, I am deeply saddened that these great buildings might soon disappear. We hope that Bottega Veneta can help promote awareness of this issue, as we believe that great design is timeless. As part of the cultural heritage of the future, it would be a great loss for the next generation to be unable to embrace the beauty of these icons for themselves.”

Maier recently travelled to Tokyo to visit some of the buildings in danger of being demolished, and a short video of his trip released exclusively to Glass in the UK:

Structures such as the Hotel Okura in Tokyo, which Maier is a fond admirer of, is scheduled to undergo renovation in 2015, and Bottega Veneta has created #MyMomentAtOkura to encourage people to spread the significance of this landmark (via ed). In hopes of increasing appreciation for such architecture Visitors are encouraged to share their Okura moments on social media starting December 10, 2014.

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by Louise Lui 

Photographs by Tetsuya Ito

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