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Sou Fujimoto

Magazine Architecture | 02 Set 2016

IN THE FOREST WORLD

 

Close relationship between what is natural and what is artificial, flowing connection between inside and out, bond between the environment and man, replacing the space conforming to the human being, are some of the principles behind the architecture of Sou Fujimoto. The works of the Japanese architect take the tree-lined memories of Hokkaido to the urban forest of Tokyo, memories of this island of woods, rivers, rugged rocks and pastures, where Fujimoto was born and grew up. In this city of bold buildings, of tangles of houses, buildings, streets and avenues, in this metropolis made of layers of time and material, Sou Fujimoto has discovered similarities with the forest of his childhood and the alleyways and lanes winding between the houses, through resemblances between the small universes of Tokyo and the hidden corners of the forest, through the analogy of trees forming the horizon with the continuous relationship between house and city, in a fusion of public and private.
Sou Fujimoto explains, in the answers he gives to ROOF, the origin of his concept of architecture, the reasons behind his decision not to become an intern in a practice and his perception of the non-separation of nature from the artificial, as the potential of a new architecture lies between them. It is this intermediary space, in this in-between territory, between the natural and the artificial, between indoors and out, that, according to Fujimoto, the future of architecture lies.

Q: You were born in Japan, in Hokkaido, where you grew up surrounded by forests and mountains, before going to live in Tokyo, a dense, compact, artificial city. In which way are these landscapes and experiences present in your architecture? 

A: I was raised in an area blessed with a rich environment of nature, even for Hokkaido. As a child, I always played in the forest. The forest endowed me with a sense of endlessness, security or the excitement aroused by not being able to see ahead, which I think became the origin of my architecture. On the other hand, I remained unaware of the richness of the forest until I moved over to live in the city of Tokyo. Although Tokyo seems totally opposite to Hokkaido, those winding alleys through the small houses can be compared to a forest made up of artificial elements. I could feel the same sensations of diversity, security, and excitement. Since then, I began to grasp the forest of Hokkaido and the city of Tokyo as the different outcomes of the same origin, which lies at the fundament of my architecture.
(...)

Featured in ROOF 4

 

@L`Arbre Blanc, (c) SFA+NLA+OXO+RSI


@House NA - (c) IWAN BAAN


@Milles Arbres, (c) SFA+OXO+MORPH

 
@Milles Arbres, (c) SFA+OXO+MORPH


@House N - (c) IWAN BAAN


@House N - (c) IWAN BAAN


@House N - (c) IWAN BAAN


@Souk Mirage Particles of Light, (c) SFA

 

Text: Paula Monteiro

Sou Fujimoto

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