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Japanese architect and writer. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1942 and in 1946–7 he worked in Tokyo. After receiving a master’s degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1953), he worked in New York (1953–6). In 1956 he returned to Japan and opened his own office in Tokyo. One of his principal concerns was the use of logical structural systems to create flexible, integrated space within buildings. He developed the use of split levels or ‘skip’ floors to combine spaces of various sizes, earning him the Architectural Institute of Japan prize in 1960. The Sony building (1966), Tokyo, was designed as a cubic spiral of skip floors, creating organic spatial continuity throughout the building with spaces that interrelate with each other and with their environment. A similar concept was used for the Japanese pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal, for which he received an award from the Ministry of Education. The continuity and flow of space between interior and exterior, and in the spaces between buildings, were also addressed, for example in the Komazawa Olympic Gymnasium (1964), Tokyo, which received a special award from the Architectural Institute of Japan. His National Museum of Japanese History (1980), Sakura, also won a prize, from the Japan Institute of Art. Ashihara received a PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1961 and was appointed professor at several universities, both in Japan and overseas. He was a vice-president of the Architectural Institute of Japan (1976–8) and president of the Japan Architects Association (1980–82).
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Dictionary of Art & Artist. Retrieved from http://www.all-art.org/DICTIONARY_of_Art/a/Ashihara1.htm.