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Since the founding of Atelier Nishikata in 2000 in Tokyo, partners Reiko Nishio and Hirohito Ono have built just four residential works, three of them renovations, all of them publicly inaccessible. Until now, this remarkable collection of private spaces was little known outside Japan. Almost, Not: The Architecture of Atelier Nishikata belatedly presents this extraordinary, almost-ordinary architecture to an international audience.
Leslie Van Duzer, author of four monographs on 20th-century architecture and a former magician's assistant, draws parallels between the architects and magicians in this hybrid architectural monograph and magic instruction manual. The introductory essay, "Almost Not," outlines their shared aspirations and techniques, including delay by layered rules, d j vu by repetition variation, and detour by category jumping.
Detailed project descriptions unpack Atelier Nishikata's methods step by step, demonstrating the possibility of bewildering effects achieved with minimal means. Each project is richly illustrated with design studies, new diagrams, detailed drawings, and photographs, including before and after views of renovated spaces, and intimate post-inhabitation scenes. A concluding conversation with the architects provides further insights into their approach.