Japanese Architect: Terunobu Fujimori, An Original
The unique approach of Terunobu Fujimori is both playful and intriguing. Fujumori, a leading historian of modern Japanese architecture, who came to designing his own architecture late, has conceived some of Japan’s most startlingly original buildings, such as the one-legged Teahouse Tetsu, or the charred cedar-clad guest house that appear to be perched precariously on a single wall.
Fujumori’s architectural sensibility is drawn from ancient Japanese traditions, combining architecture and nature, like the Lamune Hot Spring House, which appears to be built around two pine trees, with their spires poking out from the roof.
“Since I was a famous architectural historian,” he says, “I thought my architecture should be totally unique, dissimilar to any architecture that came before. I figured that if I did something traditionally European or Japanese, everyone would say ‘Oh, it’s because he’s a historian.’ I didn’t want that criticism.”
Among his creations you will find the Tanpopo House with its volcanic rock and flowering facade, or the Too-High Tea House, perched 20 feet in the air awkwardly standing on two forked tree trunks, or the Nemunoki Museum of Art which resembles a mammoth.
Fujimori is also known for his Charred Cedar House, where he used a traditional Japanese technique of cladding the entire home in charred cedar boards – a time consuming technique that is extremely effective in protecting the wood against rain and rot, and gives the exterior a unique reptilian texture.