Katsura Imperial Villa by Arata Isozaki, Yoshiharu Matsumura, Bruno Taut, et al. (400 pp., Phaidon, $49.95)


Phaidon has just published a handsome and affordable version of this comprehensive exploration of the legendary seventeenth-century palace and garden at Kyoto. This paperback, English edition of a book originally published in Italian by Electa combines a wealth of new color photography with maps, scale drawings, and essays to provide thorough coverage of this secluded villa that still requires special permission to visit. In addition to being an icon of traditional Japanese architecture, it has inspired scores of Modernist architects, including Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Kenzo Tange, and Bruno Taut. This book concludes with a section devoted to these architects’ interpretations of the complex, including Taut’s illustrated travel journals and the seminal volume Gropius and Tange collaborated on over 50 years ago – Katsura: Tradition and Creation in Japanese Architecture.

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