Midway gardens was a good commission for wright, whos reputation was being recovered from the scandal. It was completed in1914 and demolished in1929 after several owners. Demolition was so time consuming and expensive the demolition company went bankrupt. Wright argued with the sculptor of the gardens to the point that when ianneli was offered a part in the imperial hotel, he turned it down.
Wright won the contract for the imperial hotel in he never saw the completion of the structure. Due to the intensity of the project, wright spent the majority of years from 1917 to 1922 in japan overseeing the construction. Used the concept of friction piles and floating foundations in the construction of the hotel.
Wright felt that his buildings were more greatly influenced by the art of japan rather than the land itself. Throughout his lifetime he collected Japanese prints. When the fire occurred at Taliesin he lost a fortune in prints. During his stay in japan he slowly replaced his destroyed collection with a new one. He also traded prints and sold them quite frequently. Example Japanese Print (Not drawn by Wright)
Yamamura house was not designed by wright alone. He shared credit with arata endo for this structure and for the jiyo gakuen school. This was the first time he ever shared credit for a design. Wright never saw the completion for the house. He left japan never to return in this same year minami a partner of endo, began construction of yamamura house. Arata Endo
Endo was devoted to wright, he was the chief draftsman for the imperial hotel and followed his visions to the letter. Endos works are very well known in japan, in particular the koshien hotel in Endos Son raku endo was also very famous for his own wright influenced designs. Wright called the koshien hotel the little imperial. The Imperial Hotel
Sake brewer (8 th generation with the name tazaemon Yamamura) at Sakura Masamune Brewery (currently still open) Home served as a summer villa for the family Great-Grandson Tazaemon Yamamura
1918 – Basic design finished – Construction finished. May 1974 – Designated a National Important Cultural Property – Repair construction for preservation. Detail of a window from the outside
1989 – Opened to public as Yodoko Guest House – Damaged by the Great Hashin-Awaji Earthquake – Repairs due to earthquake – Re-opened to public.
A long driveway leads up to the building. At the end of the driveway is the porch, opening to the east and west. View of the porch from drive The house sits on a ridge overlooking the city of Ashiya.
To Wright the virtues of oya stone depended on its properties and appearance, not its cost. Consists of a light lava rock, easily carved for patterns. Oya Stone from The Imperial Hotel Used in the construction of imperial hotel and yamamura Many individuals argued the quality of the stone. Pitted like travertine.
Inside the Porch The porch is a wide rectangle shape. Inside the porch and adjacent to the main entrance is a large stone flower bowl. Detail of porch pillar The flower bowl is fed by a stone pillar which leads rainwater down from the roof.
Mahogany framework and decorative light fixtures accent the staircases. various staircases lead to different levels in the house. transitions between rooms are intensified by varied ceiling heights. Decorative framework
Couches are built into the walls under the windows. Decorative doors on the south wall open to a spacious balcony with great views of the landscape. Matching the doors are built in shelves and cabinets. On the north wall is a massive Oyaishi stone fireplace. Built in shelving and cabinetry Oyaishi fireplace and windows
Many decorative windows line the walls of the hallway. These windows provide natural lighting. This is seen in other areas of the house and blurs the distinction between the inside and outside. Decorative window design
Japanese room was done as a request from the owner during the construction period. Because wright was not involved, this change occurred. The room has traditional tatami mats and doors, with sparse Japanese design. Layout of the Japanese Room
Sketches by Wright of other Japanese Style Buildings that were not built
Wright started to transition from prairie to Usonian from 1909 to 1935 The four California block houses were the beginning of usonian and some design aspects are reflected at Yamamura. Top: Prarie Style House Bottom: Usonian Style House A majority of wrights houses are multilevel. Developed a preference for patterned concrete.