Nishida House, 1966 / Yoji Watanabe

The Nishida House in Japan designed by Architect Yoji Watanabe and completed in 1966 uses a concrete structure inspired in traditional timber structures giving a self-referential anarchy image.

 Nishida House technical information

From a standpoint outside common sense, the elements of conservatism, hypocrisy, imitation, cowardice, opportunism, irresponsibility, and compromise inherent in common sense are clearly visible.

I am uninterested in architecture that lacks uncomplicated creativity and the temper to do battle with the universe.

– Yoji Watanabe

 Nishida House Photographs


One of Watanabe’s last competition designs, a mixed-use urban center in Hong Kong (1982)

Yoji Watanabe

 About Yoji Watanabe

Yoji Watanabe was born 1923, in Joetsu. The son of a long line of carpenters, Watanabe defied his father and enrolled at the Takada College of Technology, where he studied until 1941. Which was followed by working at the Nihon Steel Group until 1947, he was then hired by the architectural firm Kume and partners. To 1959 he studied for a second time at the Waseda University in Tokyo.

Watanabe then opened his own architectural studio. He attacked the ideas of metabolism, and laid great emphasis on density, prefabrication of individual elements and the ability to expand its arbitrary designs. So he produced designs such as ‘Habitat 70’, a response to the suburban area located in the ‘Habitat 67’ by Moshe Safdie, which he condenses in an urban context.

Watanabe’s most famous building is the ‘New Sky Building No.3’ (1972, Tokyo), which is built with a high proportion of steel. The Battleship looking building is a residential and office office in the Shinjuku district, it also has a high proportion of prefabricated elements, reminiscent of the capsule architecture of Kisho Kurokawa.