Developments in Japanese Timber Architecture

Andrew Charleson, Senior Lecturer in Building Structures, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington,Wellington, New Zealand Daryl Calder, Graduate Architect, Studio of Pacific Architecture, Wellington

Japan is a country of some importance for New Zealand timber designers. It is a major importer of our timber. But despite lacking its own timber resources, it provides most interesting examples of contemporary creative architectural timber design. These should inspire New Zealand designers to exploit our own resource to create timber architecture of delight. It might appear ironic that Japanese designers are using imported material with at least as much inventiveness as designers from the source countries, but contemporary Japanese timber design often has its roots deep in Japanese architectural tradition. This is, in many cases, the source of inspiration.

This paper comprises of a literature survey and a historical review of the subject, concluding with some contemporary case studies.

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