Walking through my neighborhood recently, I’ve been paying attention to all the new construction. Most of it is terribly disappointing - generic, cheaply made apartment blocks - but I’m interested in all the different exterior facings that are popular now and how thy compare to exterior surfaces from a decade ago and even older ones.
There’s a lot of creativity in these. Sometimes they all look the same, but they aren’t.
The new stuff seems to be mainly sheet siding formed into brick and stone shapes. The seams are obvious cracks filled with a finger-width of putty and the bricks don’t meet up at the seams. Dreadful. A decade ago, they were using flat brick-like tiles on the exteriors. Stucco remains popular for certain styles of housing. Real stone and brick are hard to find. Wood and tin are relegated mainly to the old and decrepit buildings of 20+ years ago.
I’ve begun to take photos of exterior surfaces and have started a Flickr set here: Exterior Textures. The first set of photos is from yesterday’s trip to Kanagawa. I’ll add more from my neighborhood and around Tokyo as I have time.
Taking photos of exteriors makes me dangerous to walk around with, as MJ can attest. As we walked through her neighborhood yesterday, I stopped at almost every building to snap a photo of the siding. Homeowners throughout Hiratsuka were undoubtedly reporting the suspicious behaviour of a foreign person.