Design Details

Design Details

TAC Talk speaker and Nihonbashi Club designer Daishi Yoshimoto talks form, function and favorite structures.

The Club made history on March 31 this year when it unveiled its inaugural satellite clubhouse. Those first across the threshold were struck by the facility’s blend of contemporary elegance and welcoming warmth.

The man behind the design of this unique “home” on the sixth floor of Nihonbashi Muromachi Mitsui Tower is Daishi Yoshimoto. The Japanese architect, who grew up in Panama and graduated from architecture schools in the United States, will discuss the project at an online TAC Talk this month.

Now a Member of the Nihonbashi Club himself, Yoshimoto shares his architectural influences with INTOUCH:

Who first initially inspired your interest in architecture?
My grandfather was an architect before he went to war. Unfortunately, he never made it back, but my grandmother always used to tell me his stories when I was a child. That is how I first learned about the profession.

Which architect do you most admire?
Junzo Yoshimura is my hero. He is not very well known internationally, but he is one of the great masters of modern architecture in Japan.

Which famous building do you wish you had designed?
Yoyogi National Gymnasium by Kenzo Tange. It got renewed attention at the recent Tokyo Olympic Games and is still the most iconic building in Japan.

What kind of project most appeals to you?
There is no single type of project that I particularly prefer to work on, but the most rewarding projects are those where the owner is really passionate about design. Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi was one such project.

How do you try to balance “form” and “function”?
“Form follows function” is a famous quote by the great Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, but I like thinking about both at the same time, not one after the other. They are equally essential.

What is the attraction of working in Japan?
In Japan, there is a unique tradition of craftsmanship. The contractors take great pride in getting the job right, and they pay a lot of attention to detail, almost as much as the designers do. There is a culture of teamwork between the designer and builder.

How would you describe the city of Tokyo architecturally?
A striking mix of tradition and innovation, old and new, order and chaos. I think these things make Tokyo the most exciting city in the world for architects.

What would you improve?
There is nothing regulating architectural aesthetics in Japan. Just about anything goes. While the freedom can be seen as a blessing, it gets out of control sometimes. There could be a bit more public control to prevent less-thought-through designs from degrading the scenery. Also, there should be more effort in saving old buildings of historic importance.

Words: Nick Jones
Top image of Daishi Yoshimoto: Yuuki Ide

TAC Talk: Daishi Yoshimoto
September 22 | 7–8pm | ¥550 (guests: ¥660)