Mayumi Miyawaki is a Japanese architect, he inherited a great skill in drawing from his father, Kazuo Miyawaki, and his mother, both of whom were artists, and he studied first at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (BA, 1959); he then specialized in urban design at the University of Tokyo (Master of Technology, 1961).
In the late 1960s and early 1970s he conducted scholarly studies of historic Japanese villages. The first major project was in 1966 with the design of a house called Chalet Moby Dick, near Lake Yamanaka and Mount Fuji in the Yamanashi prefecture. This building incorporated characteristics of both Shinto and Buddhist architecture on the outside, with a cavelike interior, it was demolished by its new owners during the nineties.
In 1971 he formed the avant-garde, counter-Metabolist group ARCHITEXT with four other architects, Aida Takefumi, Azuma Takamitsu, Suzuki Makoto, Takeyama Minoru, but no common design philosophy was promoted.
Miyawaki’s designs in the 1970’s were governed by his idea of ‘primary architecture’, characterized by the manipulation of cubic form, an emphasis on bright colors, interesting windows and skylights, and the creation of warm interiors. His use of the concrete box reflected his defensive attitude towards the disturbing influence of the external urban environment. Examples include the series of Akita Sogo Bank branches (Morioka and Sendai, 1970; Futsatsui, 1971; Honjō, 1973) and many ‘box’ houses such as Blue Box (1971), Tokyo, Green Box (Nos 1 and 2, 1972), Kanagawa Prefecture, Yoshimi Box (1979), Yokohama, and Matsukawa Box houses (1971 and 1978), Tokyo, for which he received the Architectural Institute of Japan prize (1980). His work in the 1980’s increasingly combined elements of traditional Japanese architectural form with those of modern living spaces.
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