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Katsura Imperial Vila: Japanese ideas of interior spaces (Essay Sample)


Your journal project is to help you learn about specific works of architecture through drawing or reproducing images – while also writing a long paragraph about the historical context of the work and what uses the architecture, particularly its interiors, would have had in its initial cultural context


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Professor’s Name
Journal Questions
Assignment 1: Katsura Imperial Villa-Japanese ideas of space and traditional interior spaces
Question 1
The Katsura Imperial Villa is among the most important large-scale cultural gems in the Japanese culture and is a perfect example of their traditional design. Often, the Villa integrates earlier principles used in early Shinto shrines and fuses them with the esthetics and philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Again, the Katsura Villa merges many traditional ideas (Bruce). For instance, many of its floors are raised and covered with tatami mats. The shape and arrangement formed by the mats create the opportunity to view the landscape and connect interior spaces with the outer world.
Question 2
One notable characteristic of these famous villas is their incorporation of screen walls also known as the shoji and fusuma. In ancient Japanese architecture, the screen walls are used to separate spaces created by the mats into multiple rooms. Whenever the fusuma is moved while in conjunction with the stationary shoji, any resident of the villa is capable of creating new rooms while in the architecture (Bruce). For example, if an occupant moves one fusuma wall, he can transform two rooms into a large one and a small storage closet. In essence, the screen walls allow rooms to change and open up to the outside world. Hence, the exterior decks become an extension of the interior and framing views.
Question 3
Screen walls are of significance in enhancing the esthetics of the Katsura Imperial Villa. As mentioned in the above question, screen walls act as the interchange between the inside and the outside by enabling rooms to change and open up to the outside world. In addition, one can merge two rooms to make it one big room inclusive of a closet.
Question 4
Assignment 4- Bait ur Rouf Masjid, Dhaka-Bangladesh
Question 1
Marina Tabbasum is globally acknowledged in her architectural designs to counteract whatever she considers impersonal and confused in the history of architecture. One of her recent works is the notable Bait Ur Rouf Mosque that borrows heavily from Western Modern architecture. The Bait Ur Rouf Mosque is not your typical mosque because it lacks the popular mosque iconography (Griffiths). The mosque maximized space, materials, light, and capacity to function not only as a worshipping place but also as a school, meeting hall and playground for the locals.
Question 2
She did not use the popular mosque iconography. She was majorly inspired by the history of the setting and the needs of locals as opposed to the conventional cultural needs of the Muslim community.
Question 3
The mosque is a hall with eight columns surrounding it to facilitate an open column

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