From building materials and construction techniques to room requirements and site restrictions, Terunobu Fujimori takes nothing for granted when designing a new home. While there are themes that run between these houses, each is a one-of-a-kind creation that is as much a work of fine (if unusual) local contemporary craftsmanship as it is an exploration of residential architectural history in Japan.
Many of his structures feature organic forms, odd angles and dizzying elevations, but beyond these large-scale formal moves are many much finer-grain detail choices that set each structure apart. Some use custom-charred wood, feature offbeat green roofs or contain other strange spatial twists and material science experiments.
In the above home, for example, the tea room is set apart from the rest of the home – lofted out over empty space and accessible by ladder. The architect confessed he wants people to feel somewhat uncomfortable while climbing into this area – a visceral reminder that it is a special place set apart from other domestic activities.
They might look whimsical, playful or even childish, but there is a great deal of thought in each building detail. Fujuimori was a scientist for decades before turning to architecture, a surprising fact until you consider the creative-yet-careful way he integrates green roofs the likes of which most architects would be afraid to try.