Aug 20, 2012

Sou Fujimoto works

sou fujimoto was born in hokkaido, japan, on august 4th, 1971.
in 1994 he graduated from the department of architecture
in the faculty of engineering at the university of tokyo.
he established his own architectural practice in tokyo in 2000.
sou fujimoto is a lecturer at kyoto university since 2007.

http://www.sou-fujimoto.com

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we met sou fujimoto in his office in tokyn on october 31st, 2008.
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what is the best moment of the day?
morning, I'd say, except when it rains (laughs).
I usually wake up early rather than late, and mornings
are very precious for me. I like the beginning of everything.
the morning is the beginning of a day and I like to think of
it as the beginning of architecture.

what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
I like bach and piano music. in my younger days I loved
the beatles and bob dylan, but recently I like to listen to
classical music.

do you listen to the radio?
no.
I just listen to cd's.

what books do you have on your bedside table?
one of my favorite books is written by toro takemitsu.
he is a great japanese contemporary music composer and
at the same time he's a very good writer. his words about
music, about the japanese culture, about the world inspire
me.

do you read design / architecture magazines?
I don't read them in detail, I just take a look.
mostly japanese but also international magazines.
recently my studio subscribed to domus, architectural
review and architectural record.

where do you get news from?
the internet.

I assume you notice how women dress.
do you have any preferences?

I like clothes by issey miyake.
that's not limited to women, I like his thinking of how to
create clothing.a while ago there was a magazine I looked
at that had images of women in africa wearing issey
miyake's dresses. it was an amazing photo report.
I was very surprised about how the dresses, colors and
their living style blend so well together.

what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
complicated suits.
I see clothing as a kind of second nature.

do you have any pets?
not for now.

when you were a child, did you want to become a
architect?

I grew up in hokkaido, in the northern part of japan,
surrounded by nature and I enjoyed just playing in the
forest. I didn't think about any future of mine.
my hero was albert einstein, so originally I wanted to be a
physicist like him, I was interested in the physical aspects of
our world. now I find many similarities in the research and
practice in both fields, architecture and physics. my first
experience with architecture was with antonio gaudi
(through reading a book about him).

where do you work on your designs and projects?
mainly in the office because my work is not only done by me.
I collaborate with my staff through discussions and models,
but when I want to focus on something I prefer to be alone.
in that case I work at home or in a starbucks cafe.

do you discuss your work with other architects?
sometimes. for example with toyo ito and kazuyo sejima, ...
but we don't discuss, we chat.

describe your style, like a good friend of yours would
describe it.

I call it 'primitive future'.
a sort of primitive situation that relates to the human 'cave'
habitation but at the same time I like to create something
new for the future.
I recently gave a lecture 'cave or nest', the two embryonic
states of architecture.
a 'nest' is a place for people that is very well prepared,
everything is assembled and very functional, meanwhile
the 'cave' is just a raw space, which people need to explore
and find their own comfort within. this is a situation where
people can use space creatively.
I prefer something like the cave-like-unintentional space.
something that is in between nature and artifact - formless
form.
formless form?
space is relationships and architecture generates various
senses of distances.
I'm very optimistic and see architecture as something
between living together and independently. there are many
degrees of interaction amongst people.
to construct a wall is to bisect a space into 0 and 1, however
a space must have intrinsically many graduations between
0 and 1. I like to create an in-between-space, therefore my
works are very basic (I've designed architecture that is
very simple but looks complex due to its geometric form).

please describe an evolution in your work, from your
first projects to the present day

the projects are becoming bigger because I get the chance to
do more prestigious work, but I don't want to limit myself just
to expensive things. sometimes with private projects that are
low-budget I have more possibilities.

what project has given you the most satisfaction?
there are two low-budget projects that I have just recently
finished.one is named house N which is a very simple box
house. an outdoor space that feels like the indoors and an
indoor space that feels like the outdoors. I think we were
successful in creating a space between the house and
city. my ideal is architecture too be roofless and garden-like.
the other project is called 'final wooden house'.
we stacked wooden blocks together to create a very small
house, in which there are no categorization of floors, walls,
and ceilings.because floor levels are relative people
reinterpret the spatiality according to where they are. it was
a big challenge for us, as we needed to consider if there
was enough space for people (laughs).
did you modify your buildings a lot during development,
because the client wanted something different?

I like to answer to the clients request as much as possible,
but I do not see it as compromises. I react with a more
creative development. of course clients always have an idea
of what they want and some site specific concerns but at
the same time they like to have something unexpected or
something beyond their imagination. many clients want a
new lifestyle through a new style of house. I propose
something beyond their request and if they like the idea,
the project will start. if they don't like the project at all it will
stop.fortunately our idea, our scheme is a flexible one.
the basic scheme is very strong but it can adapt while still
remaining strong.

who would you like to design something for?
an art museum or some kind of museum would be very
interesting for me, or an art gallery and a photo studio.
I like to design medical facilities. in 2006 I have worked for
a mental hospital,developing the children's center for
psychic rehabilitation.right now we are designing a library.

is there any architect from the past, you appreciate a lot?
louis kahn, le corbusier, mies van der rohe...
and of course michelangelo.
I also like the architecture designed by nobody, for example
gothic cathedrals.

and those still working / contemporary architects?
I love frank gehry because his architecture is like a second
nature,like a jungle. something beyond artificial things,
it's amazing.

what advice would you give to the young?
I'm still a young architect.
so yeah um...
enjoying things is very important.

what are you afraid of regarding the future?
I think I we have to be very serious about the change
in climate and the situation of nature. I think that it is a
great opportunity for us to rethink about
the modern age culture of controlling everything.
we have to change that kind of whole super controlling
situation.for example air conditioning - when we use it we
close and shut out nature and we are limited in the space
we have. the artificial machine of the air conditioning is
controlling our space and separating each other.
instead we might be able to live together and use a kind of
natural power to create a more comfortable space.humans
should adapt a bit more, rather than control.









sou fujimoto
portrait © designboom





final wooden house, 2008
image © iwan baan
courtesy sou fujimoto architects



see more images





house N, oita, japan, 2008
image © iwan baan
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects



house N, oita, japan, 2008
image © iwan baan
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects
see more images



house N, oita, japan, 2008
it is a house and simultaneously a garden.
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects





sou fujimoto’s contribution to the sumika projects (tokyo gas co., ltd), 2008 - under construction.
residential units in tokyo that will use gas as their main source of energy.
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects
see more images



‘house before house’, part of the sumika project, tokyo, 2008 - under construction.
trees grow on top of the rooms, new open spaces emerge parallel.
paper model
image © designboom





tokyo apartments, 2006 - to be completed in 2009
paper model
image © designboom
the collective housing project consists of five dwelling units,
each has two or three independent rooms with ‘house’ shapes
on 3 floors, connected by outdoor stairs.



a wood model of tokyo apartments
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects





spiral house project, 2007
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects





new library and museum of musashino art university, 2007 - under construction
a spriral, made with bookracks.
wood model
image © designboom



a view inside the wood model
image © designboom





house O, chiba, japan, 2007
a weekend house for a couple located on a rocky coast two hours drive from tokyo.
image © daichi ano
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects



back view of house O, chiba, japan, 2007
all the required spaces, entrance, living area, dining area, kitchen, bed room, japanese style room,
study room and bath room are arranged in this continuous one room.
image © daichi ano
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects





treatment center for mentally disturbed children, hokkaido, japan, 2006
image © daichi ano
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects



meeting in the treatment center for mentally disturbed children, hokkaido, japan, 2006
image © daichi ano
image courtesy sou fujimoto architects

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