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Japanese Architecture and Structural Design

7,198 people completed this program


In this revised course, in depth video lectures cover various concepts related to architecture and structural design are presented and are accompanied by detailed articles for further study. Modern approaches to seismic design and retrofit will be covered through case studies of some unique campus buildings in Tokyo. The course starts by introducing the progression of structural design from traditional timber buildings to the first steel high rise structures, metabolism movement and the evolution of modern spatial structures in Japan. Concepts like ‘Integrated Facade Engineering’ and ‘Grid-skin structures’ are discussed and illustrated through case studies of Tokyo-Tech campus buildings wherein seismic performance was enhanced sustainably while considering the environmental performance and aesthetics. In addition, a number of 360-degree videos of Tokyo Tech buildings provide learners with an immersive experience. The application of the grid-skin concept to RC buildings is discussed using shear walls and a two-layer framing system. Modern response control strategies to achieve immediate occupancy post-earthquake like rocking frame systems and seismic isolation in steel buildings are covered and practical considerations while adopting these systems are explained through the design of campus buildings. Grid shell systems and their unique seismic response characteristics are explained. The design of the metro station near campus was used to explain the practical and technical difficulties of designing lightweight roofs. Finally, the importance of collaboration between structural engineers and architects is discussed in a number of interviews between ETH Zurich’s Prof. L. Stalder, Tokyo Tech’s Prof. T. Takeuchi and Prof. Y. Tsukamoto.

  1. Evolution of seismic design concepts in Japan
  2. Seismic retrofit approaches of steel and RC buildings.
  3. What are the different seismic response control strategies?
  4. Practical design applications of buckling-restrained braces, rocking frames and seismic isolation systems.
  5. What is the integrated façade engineering concept and how to practically implement it in design?
  6. How to use the concept of grid-skin structures to provide sustainable solutions?
  7. Seismic response control strategies of spatial structures.
  8. How the architect-engineer collaboration influences the design process?


WEEK 1 : History of Japanese Structural Design

WEEK 2 : Structural Design in Tokyo Tech Campus

WEEK 3 : Concept of Grid-Skin Structures

WEEK 4 : Spine Frames and Seismic Isolation

WEEK 5 : Design of Spatial Structures

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Japanese Architecture and Structural Design
5 weeks
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