ARCH+ Salon

ARCH+ Salon: Two Houses

Wednesday, 28 August 2019, 19h:
Screening of Two Houses with an introduction by Helena Čapková
and discussion with the film team afterwards
Language: English, German
ARCH+ Space, Friedrichstraße 23a, 10969 Berlin

Space is limited, registration is required until Wednesday, 21 August, at features[at]archplus.net
Please note that you will get a confirmation mail in order to attend the event. If you won't receive a confirmation, the limited seats have been already reserved by early birds.

The Two Houses research project was conceived subsequent to an excursion to Japan in September 2017. It focuses on the interaction between the Bauhaus and Japan, based on two houses in the suburbs of Tokyo––Migishi Atelier and Bunzo Yamaguchi House. Both houses were designed in the 1930s and 40s by Japanese architect Iwao Yamawaki (1898–1987), a student at the Bauhaus in Dessau, and Bunzo Yamaguchi (1902–1978), who worked in Walter Gropius' practice at that time, and are still privately owned today.

The Bunzo Yamaguchi House appears autonomous and timeless with its windowless facade made of light brick, only interrupted by another entrance to the upper floor, a garage door, an anterior area, which is truncated on one side, meeting a flush, shallow roof slope. The wood-clad side view looks like a rural farmhouse and reveals the traditional Japanese Minka joinery. The Janus-faced architecture combines European and Japanese influences that extend to original and contemporary uses in the garden and the outbuildings as well as to the interior of the building, where extensions and fixtures were added in the 1970s. The owners live on the upper floor of Bunzo Yamaguchi House, while the ground floor and the garden are sometimes used for photo shoots and salon concerts.

The Migishi Atelier features a light and sculptural steel staircase immediately behind a large, ceiling-high, south-facing studio window; it leads to a Tatami room on the gallery level. The influence of the Bauhaus in Dessau is unmistakable. The studio is partly furnished and contains some personal objects, but it is unoccupied. Some walls show signs of settlement; the paint is peeling off others. The Migishi Atelier was converted after Kotaro Migishi died at an early age and his wife, the painter Setsuko Migishi, needed more rooms for herself and her family. Long abandoned, since the family had moved to an apartment house it had built at the back of the property after returning from an extended stay in Europe, it is now open to the public, used for temporary exhibitions and let as a photo studio.

The film Two Houses documents the buildings’ architecture and tells the story of their inhabitants, providing glimpses of life in and with the buildings. The film was made by Verena von Beckerath with Niklas Fanelsa, Momoko Yasaka and Maximilian von Zepelin in cooperation with Jens Franke between January and April 2019 in Tokyo, Berlin and Weimar.

Two Houses
38 min, 2019
Director: Verena von Beckerath, Assistant directors: Niklas Fanelsa, Momoko Yasaka, Maximilian von Zepelin
Camera, Sound, Editing: Jens Franke

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By attending this event, you agree to be photographed and/or filmed and give permission to use your likeness in promotional and/or marketing materials.

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Wednesday, 2 October 2019
19h Screening of Two Houses
Goethe-Institut Tokyo
7-5-56 Akasaka, Minato-ku
107-0052 Tokyo, Japan
Language: English, Japanese

A project of the Chair of Design and Housing at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, funded by the Thüringer Staatskanzlei and the Alumni Office at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. The screening at Goethe-Institut Tokyo in October 2019 is funded by ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen.

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Verena von Beckerath is a co-founder of the Berlin-based firm Heide & von Beckerath. She pursued studies in sociology, art theory and psychology at Université de Paris Sorbonne and Universität Hamburg and studied architecture at Technische Universität Berlin. She has held teaching positions at Universität der Künste Berlin, Hochschule Anhalt in Dessau and Technische Universität Braunschweig. Verena von Beckerath held a fellowship at Villa Massimo in Rome and was visiting critic at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Since 2016, she is a professor of architecture at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar where she holds the Chair for Design and Housing.

Simon Bohnet studied architecture at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and Nagoya Zokei University in Japan. He was co-editor and co-curator of Horizonte - Journal for Architectural Discourse and Horizonte - Lecture series and graduate assistant at the Chair for Design and Housing at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. After his graduation he interned at Pezo von Ellrichshausen in Concepción and is currently studying for a Master´s degree at USI Mendrisio.

Helena Čapková is a researcher, curator, and Associate Professor in the History of Art at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. She has written extensively on transnational visual culture in Japan and Europe. In 2017-2019, she worked as a curatorial researcher for the bauhaus imaginista project and published an article Framing Renshichirō Kawakita’s Transcultural Legacy and His Pedagogy in the exhibition catalogue bauhaus imaginista A School in the World, edited by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson, 2019. Her other publications on the Bauhaus include: Transnational networkers – Iwao and Michiko Yamawaki and the formation of Japanese Modernist Design (Oxford Journal of Design History, 2014) and Bauhaus and tea ceremony: a study of mutual impact in design education between Germany and Japan in the interwar period (Eurasian Encounters; MUSEUMS, MISSIONS, MODERNITIES, Amsterdam University Press, 2017).

Niklas Fanelsa is an architect and founder of the architecture practice Atelier Fanelsa in Berlin and Gerswalde. He studied architecture at RWTH Aachen and Tokyo Institute of Technology. After his studies he worked for De Vylder Vinck Taillieu in Gent and TBBK in Berlin. He was Teaching and Research Associate at RWTH Aachen University, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg and at the Chair for Design and Housing at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. In 2019/20, he is Emerging Curator at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal.

Jens Franke lives and works as an artist in Berlin. In 2014 he completed his studies at Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg in the classes of Jeanne Faust and Thomas Demand. His films have been screened at Kasseler Dokfest, International Short Film Festival Hamburg, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Maximiliansforum München, Bundeskunsthalle, the Japan Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice and Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof among others. His work focuses on topics concerning architecture and urban planning. A number of film projects have been realized in collaboration with architects.

Momoko Yasaka studied scenography, display and fashion design at Musashino Art University Tokyo and architecture at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. During and after her studies she worked for Heide & von Beckerath and Studio Karin Sander in Berlin. She was co-editor and co-curator of Horizonte - Journal for Architectural Discourse and Horizonte - Lecture series and graduate assistant at the Chair for Design and Housing at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Currently she is working for Weyell Zipse & Hörner in Basel. 

Maximilian von Zepelin studied architecture at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. During his studies he worked for Jägnefält Milton in Stockholm. He was co-editor and co-curator of Horizonte - Journal for Architectural Discourse and Horizonte - Lecture series. He was graduate assistant at Archiv der Moderne and at the Chair for Design and Housing at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Currently he is working for Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin in Zurich.