Sou Fujimoto Architects' "Architecture is Everywhere" was among the ArchDaily editors' favorite exhibitions in the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The thought-provoking, entertaining collection of mundane objects truly embraced the idea that the public—not solely architects—should be included in the Biennial's celebration of architecture.
Before the fruits of architectural labor are realized, we rarely revel in the seeds cultivated in the minds of architects. It's hard to capture these formative ideas, much less present them in a way that seizes the satisfying moment in which architecture is "found."
The deceiving simplicity of displaying "found architecture" actually imparts a deeper, thoughtful lesson, which Fujimoto has inscribed on an accompanying placard "Architecture could come into being from anywhere. I believe fostering that architecture-to-be into real architecture itself is also architecture."
Akris’ creative director, Albert Kriemler, was introduced to Fujimoto by photographer Iwan Baan while working on the Université Paris-Saclay. From a stance of admiration, Kriemler was thus influenced by Fujimoto’s work: "We share a vision to create an effortless relation between the body and the environment with utmost simplicity. Sou Fujimoto is an architect who understands that we have more senses than just the eye," said Kriemler.
With the award of the $100,000 Marcus Prize to Sou Fujimoto in 2013, graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture were offered the rare opportunity to learn from one of Japan's most respected architectural practitioners. Through a semester-long connection to the studio - which he led alongside University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Associate Professor Mo Zell - Fujimoto and his students have realized a small architectural installation on an unused lot in Milwaukee's East side entitled faBRICK.
In this interview conducted in Tokyo last year, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student Robert Guertin speaks with Fujimoto about the ideas and themes of his work. In an attempt to shed light on the influence he had in the design of faBRICK, his answers are presented alongside images of the resulting installation.
French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht recently revisited Sou Fujimoto's House N, seven years after its completion, as part of his ongoing Japanese Collection series. Nestled within a traditional Oita neighborhood, the renowned family home resembles "living among the clouds," as Fujimoto once described. A rich layering of space carefully eliminates the notion of distinct boundaries, allowing a subtle shift in program to place a heightened awareness on the spaces in-between.
Tokyo-based French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht has captured the opening of Sou Fujimoto’s polyhedral Naoshima Pavilion on the Kagawa shoreline in Japan. The inhabitable, seven-meter, white stainless steel structure is part of the 2016 Setouchi Triennale. Watch the video above for a closer look.
Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung has temporarily “pulled the plug” on Sou Fujimoto’s ambitious Taiwan Tower, saying he would rather pay a penalty for breaking the contract than spend an estimated NT$15 billion to realize the “problematic” project.
The Banyan tree-inspired tower was hoped to become the “Taiwanese version of the Eiffel Tower,” as well as a model for sustainable architecture by achieving LEED Gold with its energy producing features. Its steel superstructure, which proposed to hoist a triangular section of the Taichung Gateway Park’s greenbelt 300-meters into the air, intentionally had “no obvious form” and was to be perceived as a natural phenomenon.
Sou Fujimoto Architects has been announced as one of three practices chosen to design buildings for the Liget Budapest project, one of Europe’s largest museum developments. Selected through an anonymous competition process, the Japanese firm will realize an undulating House of Hungarian Music that was “inspired by sound waves.” Its distinctive perforated “smart roof” will float on top an airy glass-walled interior illuminated by the canopy’s lightwells.
Over the weekend, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto exhibited an inhabitable sculpture of stacked and suspended aluminum cubes as part of the FIAC art fair in the Parisian Jardins des Tuileries’ gardens. The installation, “Many Small Cubes” is his first project in Paris and was commissioned by the Philippe Gravier art gallery as an exploration of nomadic structures and Sou Fujimoto’s concept of bringing architecture closer to nature.
"The floating masses of Many Small Cubes creates a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees,” described Sou Fujimoto.
Krumbach, a small Austrian village of 1000 inhabitants, is not the place you'd expect to find structures from a variety of architecture's biggest names. But thanks to Verein Kultur Krumbach, a new association dedicated to encouraging culture in the village, that's exactly what's happening, with seven international architecture firms agreeing to design bus stops for Krumbach.
Read after the break to find out more about the seven designs.
Sou Fujimoto has unveiled three design proposals for an extension to Philip Johnson’s Kunsthalle Bielefeld in Germany. Since its completion in 1968, the museum has built a reputation for hosting temporary exhibitions. However, with the construction of the new wing, Kunsthalle Bielefeld will expand their services to accommodate a contemporary art gallery.
London-based United Visual Artists (UVA) has brought Sou Fujimoto’s “cloud-like” Serpentine Pavilion to life with an “electrical storm” of LEDs. With the intention of making the architecture “breathe” from within, UVA seamlessly integrated a network of LED lights into the latticed, 20mm steel pole structure that mimics the natural forms of an electric storm. In addition, carefully conducted auditory effects further enhance the experience, transforming Fujimoto’s “radical pavilion” into an electrified geometric cloud.
Dazzling viewers with its “tron-like landscape of infinite white,” as described by Guardian critic Oliver Wainwright, Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park is arguably “one of the most radical pavilions to date.” The 350 square-meter latticed structure melts into its surrounding by fusing together the man-made and natural world, creating a lush, semi-transparent terrain that hosts terraces of seating, steps and side tables that complement its interior coffee bar (view more images here).
With such a prolific history of star designers over the past 13 years, Fujimoto's ethereal design has a lot to live up to. But despite these high expectations, architecture critics have been gushing over the new design. See a full round-up of opinions after the break...
Sou Fujimoto's 2013 Serpentine Pavilion, now complete and standing on the front lawn of London’s Serpentine Gallery, has opened to the press and we are now able to see Iwan Baan's photographs of the temporary pavilion. Fujimoto will be lecturing to a sold out crowd this coming Saturday (June 8th) when the pavilion opens to the general public. The semi-transparent, multi-purpose social space will be on view until October 20th.
Fujimoto (age 41) is the youngest architect to accept the Serpentine Gallery’s invitation, joining the ranks of Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Peter Zumthor (2011), Jean Nouvel (2010), SANAA (2009), and more. He described his Serpentine project as "...an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two."
The Guardian has posted both print and video reviews by Oliver Wainwright.
Sou Fujimoto’s contribution for the 13th edition of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is beginning to take shape, as the “geometric, cloud-like form” has slowly made its way towards the height of the trees in the rustic landscape of the Kensington Gardens in London. Upon its completion in June, the 350 square-meter latticed structure will fuse together the man-made and natural world, creating a lush, semi-transparent terrain that will host a series of flexible social spaces and a vibrant collection of plant life.
In Chile, a very special project is being developed.
Eduardo Godoy, a design impresario who started his business in Chile in the 80's, has always been an advocate for design and architecture in the country. In Chile, more than 40 schools of architecture have flooded the market, but the ever growing number of professionals has had a relatively small impact on Chilean cities. Seeing the almost infinite landscape of cookie cutter housing in the suburbs, Godoy asked himself: why not break this model into smaller pieces, each designed by a particular architect, each an opportunity for a young professional? With this in mind, and to foster the appreciation for architects, Eduardo and his team at Interdesign started a project called "Ochoalcubo" (Eight-Cubed). His original idea was to make 8 projects, with 8 buildings designed each by 8 architects, to create developments where the singularity of each piece was key, in order to demonstrate how the individuality of the architect could result in good architecture.
Last week an online call was put out by Rome'sMAXXI museum promising the first five architecture students to respond a chance to travel to Rome and build a model of Sou Fujimoto's latest project. The five selected entrants started on their work at MAXXI on Monday and their experience is being broadcast over the course of this week in a series of photos and videos detailing the ups, downs, opinions and thoughts of the students as they work.
Read more about the model and exhibition after the break...
Today, the Serpentine Gallery announced the architect that will design the 13th edition of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Every year the gallery invites a renowned international architects who have not built yet in the UK, to design a temporary pavilion that hosts public activities in at the Gallery’s lawn, in London’s Hyde Park between June and October. The list of architects for the past editions includes several Pritzker laureates. More info of this program at our Serpentine Gallery Pavilion infographic.