The “Architecture of Keio” project gathers and preserves documents that memorialize and record the architecture of Keio’s educational buildings. The archive began as a branch of the Noguchi Room Archive, when several older buildings were replaced by new ones to mark the 150th anniversary of Keio. The archive exists not only to examine the architectural history of the university, but also as an opportunity to research and theorize the possibilities for an “architectural archive” itself.
Architecture is unable to evade the logic of functionality, and so it is always met by the danger of deconstructions and reconstructions. Even when architecture has an artistic value, it is often lost in relation to the emphasis placed on practical use. The archive acknowledges these perspectives, whilst also seeking meaning in the possibility for an architectural archive to in some way preserve spatial memories.
The programs we run aim to help students to discover new approaches to and understanding of the architectural spaces they occupy in everyday life. The focus of the whole project is the “investigation of university architecture and the preservation of documents” as well as the “sharing and announcing of information.” In relation to the former, we conduct investigations of the current state of buildings using photographic documentation; we digitalize architectural plans; we gather basic data about the buildings; and then order and preserve these documents. In relation to the latter, we organize photographic exhibitions, viewings of the buildings, and workshops.