Harmonization Between Architecture and Nature Through Traditional Japanese Screens

Harmonization Between Architecture and Nature Through Traditional Japanese Screens

E. Beita A. Fujii  

Department of Architecture, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

31 March 2013
| Citation



Harmonization between architecture and nature is one principle deeply rooted in traditional Japanese architecture, infl uencing all aspects of space creation. Buildings are not seen as individual objects, but as part of the existing environment, resulting in the development of design principles which enhance these qualities. Although there are many components in traditional architecture which promote these principles, one of the most important ones is boundaries. Through the precise control of boundaries, a space can be given a new meaning and even perceived in a new manner. Traditional screen systems known in Japanese as ‘shoji’ give spaces the fl exibility needed to adapt to a changing environment, given the inhabitants control of views, illumination and ventilation. This adaptability of traditional spaces has been studied through a case study of a single tea room, which was then simulated through 3D modelling software, permitting the analysis of the space during different times and seasons. The results highlight the important design principles used to improve the interaction of spaces, while showing possible applications in urban spaces in the creation of adaptable screen systems suited towards a constantly changing environment.


boundaries, building and nature, Japanese traditional architecture, screen system, urban space


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