a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Sourcing the fabrics for the Hotel Mielmonte Nikko Kirifuri


American architecture in Japan and our love of travelling with work
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown Architect
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

[RV] There’s one other architect, American, who worked there a lot, French… American French… French American. Who was that?

[DSB] Antonin Raymond.

[RV] Antonin Raymond, to what extent… they were really American even though they were French, or not?

[DSB] I think so, I’m not sure.

[RV] Well, I’m a little mixed up on that, but there was that couple partnership. Otherwise, all of the modern buildings were tremendously international and therefore very American, in many ways. So, you kind of feel at home. It’s an extremely exotic place but it’s also extremely familiar in other ways. It’s just a wonderful juxtaposition of the now and the then – the modern and the traditional.

[DSB] And this experience made us…

[RV] We loved it.

[DSB] Come to another conclusion. Like, we work here weekends and weekdays, and all the time and people say, ‘Can’t you stop to smell the roses’, and we’ve always said, ‘Well, the roses better be right there on the drawing board or else we’ve got no time for them’. But in actual fact, through our work look what’s happened to us. We go to a country and in no time at all, we’re on whispering terms with people who we’ve never met before about things greatly important to them, like a building they’re going to construct. And we get to see the country from a point of view that no tourist ever would. Why would we need to be doing something different than that, when we get all these excitements through the work we do?

[RV] It was also near the end… fun to go… go there when the… the hotel was open… open for business and so, it was wonderful to stay in a room that we had designed.  The architecture and the furniture – we had at least designated what kind of furniture was there. It was thrilling, yeah.

Internationally renowned architects Robert Venturi (1925-2018) and Denise Scott Brown (b.1931) have helped transform contemporary design through their innovative architecture and planning. Winners of numerous prestigious awards, their designs have championed multiculturalism, social activism, symbolism, pop culture, history and evolving technologies.

Listeners: Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes is Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His most recent books include Human Built World, Rescuing Prometheus and American Genesis. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, US National Academy of Engineering, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds

Date story recorded: 22nd to 23rd September 2006

Date story went live: 27 May 2010