One of the most creative and influential architects today, Sou Fujimoto (born 1971) is a Japanese architect. Born in Hokkaido in 1971, he graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1994, and established his own office, Sou Fujimoto Architects, in 2000. He is noted for delicate light structures and permeable enclosures. Renowned for his highly conceptual contributions to the world of architecture, Sou Fujimoto has developed a signature style that combines visually arresting geometric forms with the restraint of a true minimalist.

In addition to his architectural feats, Fujimoto uses his keen sense of geometry for large-scale art installations like The Cloud in Tirana in Albania and London’s Serpentine Gallery, Inside/Outside Tree at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Forest of Light, an interactive exhibit at Salone del Mobile.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

The annual pavilion at London’s Serpentine Gallery in 2013 was made from white steel and polycarbonate panels, with a three-dimensional matrix-like design that appeared light as a cloud when viewed from afar. At 41, Fujimoto was the youngest architect to design the popular open-air structure, which functioned as a multipurpose space complete with a café.

 Also known as “The Cloud” and relocated to Tirana in 2016 (and renamed Reja), the structure is inspired by organic shapes present in nature. Once again, the man-made and nature merge, in an “artificial nest”. Formed by 20mm diameter steel bars, it is a flexible, semi-transparent structure, where visitors become an integral part of nature and the landscape yet at the same time remain protected inside.

Final Wooden House

Using only large beams of cedar and panes of glass, the Final Wooden House in Kumamoto, Japan, looks like a perforated cube from the outside, only to reveal that the lumber is cut at varying lengths and specifically arranged to create small but functional nooks inside. Finished in 2006, the structure is designed to be used as a short-term residence, complete with a bath in the corner.

Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Completed in 2006, the Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in Hokkaido, Japan, is designed as a series of seemingly randomly placed boxes that connect to create interior spaces with serene expanses and more protected-feeling alcoves. The layout is meant to mimic that of a city, where any area can become an impromptu place for meeting or playing.

House N

This modular private residence called House N, completed in 2008, was designed as three nested concrete structures, not unlike a Russian doll. The outermost box features a garden area, deck, and open windows; the middle layer contains the kitchen and bath; and the innermost box holds the bedroom, dining room, and living room.

House NA

Glass walls and staggered platforms of white steel characterize House NA, a home in Tokyo with a layout that offers inhabitants a similar experience to living in a tree. Surrounded by a dense urban landscape, the dwelling was completed in 2011 and offers just a few private spaces—like the bath—in the otherwise open, scaffolding-like construction.

Musashino Art University Museum & Library

Completed in 2010, the Musashino Art University Museum & Library was designed to be one continuous spiral bookcase whose 30-foot walls feature shelves on both the interior and the exterior. Encased by a grid of glass panels, the structure contains a grand staircase that doubles as an auditorium, not to mention a collection of approximately 200,000 books.

House O

House O in Chiba, Japan is a weekend house for a couple located on a rocky coast two hours drive from Tokyo. The site is a rocky stretch facing the Pacific Ocean with approaches sloping down to the water level.

Tokyo Apartment

Tokyo Apartment is a four house-shaped apartments stacked on top of each other. Each apartment comprises two or three rooms connected over different levels by ladders and stairs both inside and outside the building.

HSG Learning Center

Sou Fujimoto envisioned a structure consisting of multiple cubes on a grid that take into account the proportions of the neighboring residential area. Varying from 3.5 to 18.5 meters above street level, the cubes offer a total of 7,000 square meters of floorspace. Rooftop terraces are planted with greenery, while indoor and outdoor spaces are connected with transparent surfaces. Internally, the structure is designed so that the layout of the rooms can be changed repeatedly.

L’Arbre Blanc (The White Tree)

This project is a striking housing development in Montpellier, France (2018): a building with a unique shape that suggests continuous movement and hosts 120 apartments spread over 17 floors. The hundreds of balconies, combined with the curved form of the structure, give the overall building a distinctive appearance like a huge tree. Each apartment has large terraces, which are double the indoor area, perfect for this Mediterranean city with a mild climate, where the locals can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle blended with Japanese references and a new, contemporary architectural form.

Source: architecturaldigest.com

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