2013 Frederic SchneeFrederic Schnee - European Consulate in Kyoto
The European Union is not a state and not even a state-like organization. Is there a European consciousness at all? Can Europe ever have a collective identity comparable to the one of a nation? How would this identity be expressed in architecture? In the first years of the European Union there were approaches to deal with this issue until it eventually developed into an anonymous and authorless architecture that dominates today in the EU headquarters in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. Is Europe maybe only a fictional community, or just a social construct? Does it need an architectural style?

With the Meiji Restoration Japan experienced a dramatic opening to the Western world at the end of the Edo period in 1868. At this time the idea of a nation evolved and Japan sought to define and consolidate its national identity in order to sustain as a sovereign nation while profound modernization and westernization arose.
In Japanese architecture a Culturation occured , an appropriation of the foreign. The only continuity was the preservation of wood construction while there is a permanent change in shape. Only at the end of the 19th century emerged an understanding and analysis of their own architecture in which they tried to define their own Classical architecture.

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