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Architecture Tour and Japan Continued
One structure that we did not get a chance to see was Sunny Hills by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Sunny Hills at Minami-Aoyama, the district with all the cool stores. We did however get a chance to see Kengo Kuma’s Nezu Museum briefly and I went back another day to see it in full. You can check out Sunny Hills on Kengo’s firm website here.
Of all the places we visited aside from the Prada store what really caught this architect’s eye was the Nezu Museum. Like some of the other journalists who flew half way around the world to the BIMcloud press event, I stayed three days longer than the official press event and went sight-seeing in Tokyo and beyond, with my wife accompanying me. The first stop on the next day? Nezu!
The Nezu Museum and Gardens are stunning. It was an overcast and lightly raining day when we visited them but it didn’t stop me from appreciating how beautifully crafted this set of structures really are. The stairs, spartan materials, and glass detailing and lighting were all beautifully executed. (see images 15-20)
The Roppongi Hills Club was the site of the official GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud press event on 25 March, the first evening of the Tokyo program. The evening featured a carefully timed, multi-continent coordinated demonstration of the new BIMcloud® technology.
One of the interesting surprises during the big press event was the discovery that I was in a spectacular ballroom on the 54th floor. For most of the event the automatic shades were down creating a darkened room perfect for a screened presentation. Once lifted guests had stunning views of the city at night. (see images 21-23)
So curious was I about this Roppongi Hills that I went back to it with my wife and ventured to the sky deck to take a good peak at Tokyo’s many districts from above. The city is stunning in its size. The Roppongi Hills complex is the largest private sector urban redevelopment project in Japan’s history and was designed by the American architecture firm KPF (Kohn Pederson Fox).
Japan is a fantastic technology market for just about any sector, including AEC software. The country is roughly the size of California but has triple the coastline. Tokyo, it’s largest urban area has nearly the same population as all of California, 38 million people. To say Japan’s urban development is dense is a huge understatement.
Yet, I was surprised at the spaciousness of the city’s streets, parks and urban rooms. And its shopping centers, office towers, restaurants and museums were all equal in standard to any other place in the world. Combine all of this with Japan’s earthquake resistance requirements and you likely have the most technology driven construction and architecture industry in the entire world.
The trip gave me a much better sense of the requirements for BIM and CAD technology. Due to its densification, Japan on a per capita basis and per square foot basis has to be the most CAD/BIM required country in the world. From this view, seeing GRAPHISOFT’s wins in Big AEC sheds a whole new light on where ArchiCAD really stands in global BIM.
(disclosure: GRAPHISOFT SE paid for all air travel, hotel for the event days, and some meals).
footnote: It has been reported several times on Architosh that Nemetschek Vectorworks’s largest market is in Japan. The company has also self-reported that it is the marketshare leader in Japan. Recently it was noted that no CAD company has greater than 40 percent market share in AEC CAD in any country other than the United States with few exceptions, and Japan is certainly not one of them.