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This project, by Jiannan Liu and Tingwei Xu of the University of Pennsylvania, is one of incredible dynamism, almost to the point of being other-worldly. Located in the High-fashion district of Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan, the program is that of a night club and research studio. 

Courtesy of  Jiannan Liu + Tingwei Xu

The designers describe their process as one which began with the interiors. A continuity of space was desired as something for variations in atmosphere to play off of and counterpoint against. One surface morphs into another; the eye continues on unabated. However, I’m not sure that these surfaces are anything which can play counterpoint to variation. They may be all technically the same- but there’s a while lot of ‘change’ goin’ on here! 

Courtesy of  Jiannan Liu + Tingwei Xu

I think it should be said that this building is interesting and certainly educating. Interesting for its re-introduction of something that appears very much to be ornamentation. Is ornamentation really so bad? Is it worse that millions of cookie cutter boxes? Let me ask you that. Educating, because I think this building shows us the necessity of discretion. Because we can make crazy, warpy, swoopy forms using computers, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. I’m all for the sculptural form, but there seem to be maybe 10-15 sculptural forms too many here. The sheer amount of form elements here leads to a contemporary eclecticism of sorts.

Courtesy of  Jiannan Liu + Tingwei Xu

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