Area Park Studio is a base in Japan for our friend and renowned Korean photographer Area Park. Park wanted to establish a base for his activities in Japan, the hometown of his wife who is a lacquer artist. After searching for a suitable location, they commissioned us, as Japanese architects, to design the building. As Park’s photographic works constantly question photography’s role and remind us of what we have forgotten, his studio had to also represent this outlook. The site was located next to a tree-covered mound called Nakazato Fuji. When Japan was still a “closed” country, faith in Mount Fuji was strong among the commoners, and these kinds of small Fujizukas (manmade mounds representing Mt.Fuji) were often constructed in areas across Edo (old Tokyo). It was perhaps Park’s artistic sensibilities that led him, almost inevitably, to find this sacred site ripe with spirits of the earth that so many Japanese people have long forgotten. A building that would adjoin such a site should be simple and primary, as if it had grown out of the earth.
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