Two basic elements can be found in almost every building designed by Ryoko & Keisuke Masuda – white-painted walls and light wooden panels. Almost all of their homes have a second physical story … on top of the metaphorical tale told by these color and material choices.
Traditional Japanese houses also typically have exposed natural-wood structural elements elements that compliment (and contrast with) white wall hangings and rice-paper room dividers. It is not such a stretch to see parts and pieces of historical architectural approaches, plans and layouts in these designs, despite the amazing curves and other signs showing it them to be works of contemporary construction.
Like life-size fun-house versions of their ancestors, however, the similarities largely end there … and the spatial contortions, distortions and deconstructions begin. Creative curves intersect with solid squares and rectangles along two-dimensional surfaces on their buildings as well as the three-dimensional spaces inside of them.
The models and sketches are in some way even more revealing than the pictures – showing an object that is at once imagined as a whole but also the sum of many smaller bits, pieces, odds and ends. Ladders are set at odd intervals allowing travel up to the rooftops while interior gravel courtyards and hidden pocket gardens emerge in remnant internal voids.