Kochuu marks a vast departure from the eerie architecture of Great Expectations to habitats of calm, peace, and simplicity. Rather than a focus on the material world, the built environments of Kochuu embody the spiritual and philosophical realms.
This bonus documentary examines several beautiful Japanese works of architectural art, such as the Imperial Katsura Palace and the Todai-Ji Temple, and reveals how Japanese architecture surprisingly had a great impact on Scandinavian architects.
In a way that is not necessarily true of the architects in Great Expectations, the architects in Kochuu may be guided by philosophical principles such as a connection to nature or Buddhist ideas of emptiness, yet they are able to create buildings that remain aesthetically pleasing instead of merely thought-provoking. Instead of forcing people to fit themselves into a certain concept of architecture, Japanese and Scandinavian design adapts its style to gently embrace humanity, like the Taoist ideal of water gliding around rocks instead of forcing its way through them.
Much of the so-called visionary architecture featured in Great Expectations is not aesthetically ideal. The trend in art and evidently architecture has been away from pure aesthetic quality to works that are intended to be pondered. Contemporary art cannot be taken solely on its visual form; rather, the culture of the artistic movement, the intentions of the artist, and what the components of the work symbolize all coalesce to create something to be talked about, not just looked at.
Yet, the architects profiled in Kochuu remind us that beauty can still shroud something of great intellectual value, and perhaps pushing the boundaries of the conventional does not necessarily require creating something shocking, but may instead mean a return to peacefulness and naturalness.