The exhibition “The Architecture of Sou Fujimoto” was organized by Handhome and took place at Ecopark residence. The event space – The Lantern was design by a partner of the office – a21studio in 2016. 15 models of architect Sou Fujimoto’s buildings from 2001 to 2014 were made and put on display at the exhibition to provide a deeper look into Mr. Fujimoto thinking and architectural style in the context of this event.
Many Vietnamese architecture students volunteered to take part in the model making process. The buildings featured included renown works of Sou Fujimoto such as House N, House NA, Toyo Apartment, House K, The Final Wooden House,… The exhibition opened from 01.10.2017 to 15.10.2017.
Images of the exhibition
1. Image: Trieu Chien
2. Image: Trieu Chien
3. Image: Trieu Chien
4. Image: Trieu Chien
5. Image: Trieu Chien
6. Image: Trieu Chien
7. Image: Trieu Chien
8. Image: Trieu Chien
9. Image: Trieu Chien
10. Image: Trieu Chien
11. Image: Trieu Chien
12. Image: Trieu Chien
13. Image: Trieu Chien
14. Image: Trieu Chien
15. Image: Trieu Chien
16. Image: Trieu Chien
17. Image: Trieu Chien
18. Image: Trieu Chien
19. Image: Trieu Chien
20. Image: Trieu Chien
Architect Sou Fujimoto was born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1971. To Handhome, he is one of the most influential architects in Japan as well as the world. He’s known as a talented individual who inspired many environment-friendly designs.
“I think a house need not necessarily be a house. A house is a place for human habitation. Yet, a place for human habitation is not bound to a house. I believe people live within a much larger territory that subsumes houses. When one traces it back to its origins, houses and cities must have been indistinguishable. Houses and forests must have been indistinguishable. If that is the case, I think it is possible to create a place that is simultaneously a house, a city and a forest. It is a place analogously akin to a small Earth, and thus, the most primitive and yet the most futuristic architecture.” – Sou Fujimoto.
Vietnamese students making architectural models for the exhibition
Models on display at the exhibition
1. Primitive Future House
This house can be said inconvenient. However, in this project, inconvenience does not have any negative meanings, such as impractical, uncomfortable, or not well-equipped. Inconvenience can prompt multiple human activities. It is similar to the relationship between Nature and men. Inconvenience serves as the possibility.
Now, is it possible “to design” such inconvenience, indefiniteness, and unexpected surprise? For this purpose, Sou Fujimoto tried a method of “Relationship between Parts.” By using this method, he designed architecture from local order, not the whole one and from relationship between parts. Then ambiguity, imperfectness, and order are created and live together in one building. The most complicated and ambiguous thing is the simplest, which is new simplicity. Here, 350mm(the intervals of slabs) serves as the local order. 350mm is the new module of architecture. It is about 1/10 of the conventional story height. The new relationship between architecture and human body is born there.
2. T House
Site is within a calm residential suburb in Maebashi, Gunma, Japan . Being a housing for a family of four, this is also a place to display contemporary artworks, clients collection. – Basically it is a one-room house. Though the plan is quite unique, being radially intonated, or bent, at several points. From the bent point are walls stretched towards the center of the architecture. Each spaces created between these walls have, thus, different depths and different extent of relation to other spaces. A wide range of diverse qualities of the spaces, such as composure, privacy and so on, are obtained.
3. House O
A weekend house for a couple located on a rocky coast two hours drive southeast of Tokyo. The site is a rocky stretch facing the Pacific Ocean with approaches sloping down to the water level.
“House with feeling of ocean nearby” was the request from the client. Panoramic view of the ocean, looking at the ocean from recesses of a cave, enclosed ocean and a place projected above the ocean. Oriented in different directions, one can find various views of the ocean by walking throughout the house. Living area, bedroom and bathroom each has its unique relation to the ocean.
Interminable spaces continuing over and over without any clear border, just as something before its separation, the architect intended architecture to be primitive, “in between natural and man-made”.
4. Spiral House
After moving to Tokyo, Sou Fujimoto began to think about the distance between house and the city. He felt increasingly clear that it was not only a single door that humans are separated by. This residential project is an attempt to make a house sorely following this notion of depth. From the large aperture opening out to the city on the outer most wall of the spiral, the depth is created by the curves of a single wall that invites one to move deeper within. As a result, essentially all space within this house is connected. The deeper the space, the more personal it becomes, and its openness to the city allows the quality of the space to transform. Many openings in the walls also allow shortcuts into the space of varying depth.
5. House N
The house itself is comprised of three shells of progressive size nested inside one another. The outermost shell covers the entire premises, creating a covered, semi-indoor garden. Second shell encloses a limited space inside the covered outdoor space. Third shell creates a smaller interior space. Residents build their life inside this gradation of domain. That is why life in this house resembles to living among the clouds. A distinct boundary is nowhere to be found, except for a gradual change in the domain. One might say that an ideal architecture is an outdoor space that feels like the indoors and an indoor space that feels like the outdoors. In a nested structure, the inside is invariably the outside, and vice versa.
Through this bungalow, which can be considered as a small and primitive house, it was possible for Fujimoto to do a primitive and simultaneously new architecture. 350mm square profile cedar is piled endlessly. At the end of the process appears a prototypical place before architecture became architecture.
7. House Before House
This house stands in a residential area in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, and was planned for 2-4 people. Large trees are growing on the tops of minimally small boxes/rooms. When these boxes planted with trees are stacked on top of each other randomly, a place emerges that is reminiscent of a small porous mountain or a spontaneously and naturally amassing village.
8. House H
A dwelling for a family of three located in a residential district in Tokyo. To live in a multi-storey dwelling in a dense metropolis like Tokyo is somehow similar to living in a large tree. Within a large tree, there exists few large branches, of which endows numerous qualities: Pleasant places to sit, sleep, and present places for discourse. While these branches are individual places under protection, they are simultaneously equipped with mutual relationships that allow one to sense the presence of one another across each branch. This concept of a residence akin to a large tree, with a tree-like ambiguity in its connectivity with the exterior, propounds a prototypical dwelling/city of the future.
9. Tokyo Apartment
Collective housing built in the residential section of the center of Tokyo. It consists of four dwelling units including owner’s dwelling unit. Each dwelling unit is made with two or three independent rooms of prototypical “house” shapes.
10. House OM
This is a house for a young couple. The site is on a corner of a newly cleared residential area in Yokohama.
The client’s request was for a house with a rich courtyard.
11. House NA
House standing within a residential district in central Tokyo. To dwell in a house, amongst the dense urbanity of small houses and structures can be associated to living within a tree.
Tree has many branches, all being a setting for a place, and a source of activities of diverse scales. The intriguing point of a tree is that these places are not hermetically isolated but are connected to one another in its unique relativity. To hear one’s voice from across and above, hopping over to another branch, a discussion taking place across branches by members from separate branches. These are some of the moments of richness encountered through such spatially dense living.
12. House K
The house lies on the serene site located in the midst of the residential district of Nishinomiya, Hyogo prefecture. The roof garden slowly rising like a hillside, creating a living space that stretches itself downward at the same time. Dotted with potted trees that are as if they are floating on the roof, it is like a landscape of a semi-natural and semi-artificial mountain. While a number of openings are capturing the soft light, the slope vividly cuts out the landscape of the woods and the sky with an unexpected sense of distance.
13. Catalunya House
This project was a design for a villa on a lot with an abundance of nature in Catalonia, Spain. On the gently sloping site surrounded by a forest, I decided to create a three-dimensional forest out of the building and trees. By layering round slabs filled with countless round openings, I created an atrium that was both staggered and connected in a complex manner. Then I placed the trees among the slabs as if they were piercing the foyer. This made it seem as if all of the trees were floating and surrounding the living space in three dimensions, gently restricting the limits of the house. Most of the slab area was an outside terrace and due to the mild climate, formed a variety of living spaces that were moderately protected from sunlight.
14. San Paulo House Branch