Japanese Architect Sou Fujimoto’s Distinctive Architecture Blends with Nature
Who is this architect that placed scaled figures onto a pile of chips?
After graduating from the University of Tokyo, he took into swing his own firm instead of working for an established one – which he believed would ‘water down’ his ideas. He relies on his close instincts to nature, growing up amidst the wondrous forests of Hoikkaido, Japan… who is this???
It is Sou Fujimoto! Humble and happening at the age of 45, is creating waves in the ocean of design.
Playing beautifully with the subtlety of contemporary architecture and traditional craft, here is why Sou Fujimoto is now talk of the town.
Sou Fujimoto’s architectural thinking began with the forests in Japan where he was raised. Their thoroughly complex and diverse nature are a impressionable phenomenon to play with. The absence of strong boundaries between the space and structure form a pure and wholesome slice of design.
Sou Fujimoto Architects will feature enormous cones of light for the Milan Design Week 2016.
The Forest of Lights showcase huge spotlights suspended high up for a colossal effect.
It represents the transient nature of our existence and of creation. The fact that we can walk through it, from one cone to another, or meander through the dark pathways bordered by the circular spots, instills the flexible nature of design. Sou has cleverly and literally brought light to the phrase ‘Forest of Cones’.
So where does the challenge lie?
To be able to create something which is artificial, while simultaneously blurring edges with nature is a not an easy task. He took matters of convention and structure, restrictions and culture, and turned it into something marvellous.
In 2013, Fujimoto was the youngest architect to be appointed to design the prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion until this year.
And the curators couldn’t have been more pleased.
He created a cloud of iron from white steel poles. A dynamic and flowy form visually constructed with a tough metallic grid that seemed to be the perfect juxtaposition between the naturesque surroundings of the Kensington Gardens and the gallery within. To have the modernity of iron rods painted in white, blend into the serene environment without being an imposition was pure genius, creating a sharp contrast of the ‘primitive future’ with its curves and cuts.
Sou never crossed lines or overstepped boundaries.
He instead introduced two beautiful specimens to each other; nature and the artificial world. And in the process he dimmed stark differences and broke bold barriers.
This phenomena re-invented notions of architecture.
What will the Paris of tomorrow be?
Sou Fujimoto is among the winning architects for a competition in the quest of innovative designs for 23 sites across the Paris. Fronted by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, the Reinventer Paris competition called for architects and developers to team up and develop plans for several key sites around the city.
Paris and Sou have always rested on a beautiful tryst.
Inspiration is the source of all great ventures.
The sheer ambiguity and coexistence of architecture is what enthralled Sou Fujimoto. He used ambiguity as a beautiful opportunity to rediscover the hidden design attributes of daily objects. The elementary usage of things, backed by their lessons is what differentiates Sou from any other architect.
Barriers never leave space for unexpected spaces and relationships.
had created a unique installation for the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015 which ran till earlier this year, consisting of ordinary items turned to incredible ones. The firms’ philosophy that “architecture is first found and then made” holds good when one sees crisp potato chips resting on a minuscule wooden table, adjacent to staples, ping-pong balls and ashtrays. These everyday objects that we don’t give a second glace to, relived their absurdity and distinctive nature in Sou’s artificial environment.
Every detail calls for ensuring one realizes the beauty of design and creation, enhanced by the flexibility of an open mind.
Sou Fujimoto was inspired the influence for the Paris Fashion Week 2016 collection by Swiss Fashion Akris. The creative director Albert Kriemler fondly recounts , “I have been admiring Fujimoto’s work and his exclusive approach to architecture for quite some time, he is an architect who understands that we have more senses than just the eye. There are architects whose vision is on point to what fashion really is about – creating a relation between the body and the environment that helps human beings to live comfortably. In Sou’s work, I recognize a desire to comprehend and create volume, space and room, to intertwine nature and construction, to work with transparency and opaqueness.”
The 49 looks in the collection are based individually or otherwise on Sou’s architectural works, right from the garments to the eye wear, from shimmering square sequins to a grid of twine.
We’ve never seen a better amalgamation of cork and crepe!
The House K for a family of four is the perfect residence that breaks all barriers between a hill and home. The concrete used for the sloping form along with wooden paneling within its a stoic and subtle complementary elements that create enough space for movement and entrust the feeling of security with its substantial appearance. Wide comfortable wide treads and large fenestration, minimal hindrances and maximum height, Sou had put thought into designing for a family and kept in mind the human connection to the structural craft.
Each era has its own hint and inspiration to redefine.
The richness of the history of architecture and human life has always astounded Sou. He feels that if we, as architects, can contribute and continue a small piece to this vast history, it is quite admirable by itself.
He says with immense joy after a finished building, “There is a good that goes beyond what one had imagined. That is certainly the best part.”
Written by: Ekshikaa