Thursday Feature: Sou Fujimoto [a new generation of japanese architects]


Sou Fujimoto is amongst the frontrunners of the emerging new generation of Japanese architects. Born in 1971, his works have come to international attention in recent years. The intrigue of his works stem from their questioning of the fundamental essence and meaning of architecture – what is architecture? what is the relation between architecture and nature? He delves into the primordial condition of architecture, one that is raw and unconstrained – exemplified by the notion of the cave – where people have the freedom to explore and use the spaces creatively.

Fujimoto’s approach is an optimistic one, where he sees architecture’s role as to “continuously re-imagine enriching places for people”. While his works appear highly minimalistic and abstracted on the surface, they are far removed from merely seeking the reductive beauty of the 20th century Miesian aesthetic. Rather, his architectural experiments seek to create spatial experiences that prompt various degrees of human interactions and also restore the primitive relationship between people and nature. Thus both his conceptual models and actual projects implode spatial conventions, piquing one’s imagination and senses to pursue the possibilities of the architecture.

A selection of Fujimoto’s works for your exploration…

House N | Oita, Japan | 2006 – 2008 

                                                                                                                                                   Images: http://www.archdaily.com

Group Home in Noboribetsu | Hokkaido, Japan | 2006

                                                                                                                                                   Images: http://www.archdaily.com

Tokyo Apartment | Tokyo, Japan | 2006 – 2010 

                                                                                                                                                       Image: http://www.dezeen.com

Final Wooden House | Kumamoto, Japan | 2006 – 2010

                                                                                                                                                   Images: http://www.archdaily.com

Musashino Art University – Museum and Library | Tokyo, Japan | 2007 – 2010

                                                                                                                                                   Image: http://www.archdaily.com

                                                                                                                                                   Image: http://www.archdaily.com

                                                                                                                                                   Image: http://www.andifitsreal.com

                                                                                                                                                   Image: http://www.archdaily.com

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Minus-K House by KUU


Satoko Saeki and Kok-Meng Tan of the Shanghai based firm KUU designed a duplex composed of a normal dwelling for the family of a worker combined with a weekend house for the owner of a slipper factory in the compound of the firm’s warehouse. The designers based their layout on 19 squares, each three by three meters, to form an irregular grid.

A shared table forms the centre of the duplex. Two kitchen squares and two courtyards are placed diagonally at each corner of the table, enabling the residents to face each other while cooking through an opening in the central cross of the walls.

The relationship between public and private recalls the experience normal Chinese people had until recently with shared kitchen, bathroom or communal courtyards and semi public collective neighbourhood streets.

 

With six double high units and five courts, the open and the closed cubes create a playful interaction between inside and outside, between vertical and horizontal.

The functional arrangement and the rigidity of the basic layout creates a structure that can be used by each resident in a very personal way, but offers at the same time opportunities for communication or retreat by very simple means.

To blur the notion of inside and outside, the walls are unplastered and have the same rough look in both locations. The red bricks and the ceiling made of concrete are simply painted white. A part of the floors and the furniture are made of wood, carefully designed, to fit into the space arrangement.

In contrast to the formal expressions usually found in the design of a private house, this duplex is created with local handcraft and is rooted in the need of the resident.

This building was awarded the 27th Shinkenchiku Award in 2011.

Reference: http://www.chinese-architects.com

House in Sri Lanka by Tadao Ando


Japanese architect Tadao Ando has designed a house in Sri Lanka for Belgian industrialist Pierre Pringers and his wife, artist Saskia.

Located at the southern tip of Sri Lanka, the three-storey house faces scenic beaches. The house is a gift from Pringers to his wife, who cites Ando as her favorite architect. Appropriately, inscribed on a stone outside the house gate were the words “To Saskia”.

Light floods into the ground floor studio though a two storey-high window, which is divided into four by a large steel cross.

This approach is significantly different from Ando’s previous works, which were more introspective in nature, with only small gaps for light to seep in.

This was due to the request of Saskia, who wanted to find inspiration for her art in the seas and skies of the island. In response, Ando “aimed to create an airy architecture like many of the native houses.”

A grand stairway from the entrance into the large airy loggia, accentuated by an infinity pool jutting out from a corner.

Outdoor terraces between the first and ground floor allow for a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean.

The interior of the house is divided into four sections. One box houses the reception, kitchen, master bedroom, and Pierre’s “meditation room”; while another contains four guest bedrooms, each with a sea view and a complete en-suite.

Another box contains an elongated living room that is almost 20m long, slicing the two parcels of concrete at an agle.

       Via: Dezeen

Songzhuang Artist Village by DnA


 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Songzhuang Artist Village by DnA is a cluster of 20 SOHOs for artists located at the outskirts of Beijing. Songzhuang is one of the largest and most well-known artist community in China, and was once home to now internationally acclaimed artists such as Yue Minjun and Fang Lijun in the early 1990s.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

All of the twenty studio units have different floor plans and configurations, each of which offers soothing views of the adjacent pond.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The functional requirements of working and living are used to determine the project’s form and layout, dividing each unit into two distinct components. The studio spaces are simple, rectangular volumes that rise 6 meters in height. The residential component takes on a more complex form that incorporates the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and toilet, measuring 3 meters in height.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The studio space is plugged into the living component, either on the same level, or via a staircase.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The unique layout of the village achieved by the configuration of the twenty different SOHOs result in peculiar spaces and surprising niches that facilitate interaction amongst the artists.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

During arts festivals, the artist village opens its doors to visitors, and the public spaces between the units are used for the exhibition of artworks.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

DnA_Design and Architecture is a Beijing-based architecture firm headed by Xu Tiantian. 

Via: Zhulong

Studi-o Cahaya by Mamostudio


© mamostudio

Studi-o Cahaya is a house, studio and art gallery designed by Indonesian architecture firm Mamostudio. The client is an avid photographer, painter and sculptor, thus inspiring a monolithic form for the house that serves as a channel and vessel for light.

© mamostudio

The exterior of the house is in unrelenting, brutal concrete, a rectilinear box with unframed planes of glass. 

© mamostudio

© mamostudio

© mamostudio

The first two floors serve as a home office for the client, while the third floor is an open plan gallery open to visitors.

© mamostudio

The central space of the house is a cavernous volume that appears to be sculpted from a triangular lattice grid. Awash with sunlight, the geometric space was sculpted out to allow light to penetrate all three levels. This dramatic section was borne out of a close study of the path of sunlight at various times of the day.

© mamostudio

The section of the house reveals how the rectangular box is displaced with a triangular grid within. Angled surfaces reflect light and reveal the sculptural properties of the space.

© mamostudio

Mamostudio is an architectural firm in Jakarta, Indonesia led by design principal Adi Purnomo.

Reference: http://archen.mr926.me/tag/mamostudio/

Lampyris House by S+PBA


image: http://spluspba.weebly.com/

The Lampyris House is a hillside bungalow designed by Bangkok architecture firm S+PBA. The site is located on a remote hillside adjacent to the Khao Yai national park, affording the house very prominent views of the park by day but little or no view at night due to its complete isolation.

image: http://spluspba.weebly.com/

“Lampyris” refers to a firefly that emits a constant source of light after dusk. In the architects’ first visit to the site, they imagined the pitch darkness of the site at night, and envisioned a cluster of disembodied lights suspended—firefly-like—before the hillside’s silhouette.

image: http://spluspba.weebly.com/

In what the architects call a “picture-frame effect”, the interior and exterior by reciprocating views enjoyed from within the house by day with nocturnal views of the house from without by night.

image: http://spluspba.weebly.com/

In place of pictures, paintings and decorations that usually adorn the flatness of a plain wall, here large windows are fragmented and scattered across walls in picture frame size apertures.

Wall and window, interior and exterior, lose their binary nature as they dematerialize into one another.

image: http://spluspba.weebly.com/

A lap pool spans the length of the living room space, with bridge-like walkways perching across the water, creating a sense of visual layers and depth in space. The many openings in the walls allow for ample light to spill across the monochromatic surfaces in an even wash.

S+PBA is a Bangkok based Architecture firm founded in 2005 by 2 principal architects, Ponlawat Buasri and Songsuda Adhibai.

References: http://spluspba.weebly.com/