Monday, May 25, 2009

Architect: Terunobu Fujimori

client's house

tea room
ceiling of the tea room...awesome!!
Fujimori's home
chilling on the roof...

Fujimori's wife conducting a tea ceremony

Today we met Terunobu Fujimori (architect and Professor Choi's old professor from when he studied in Japan). He designed the "coal house" that we saw in Utsunomiya. He took us to see one of his clients house that had recently been finished. At first glance, I was a bit hesitant. But once we went inside, my mind was made up: Fujimori is a genius with no equal. He follows the wabi-sabi style, which is characteristic of rustic teahouses: things are worn and have a natural look to it, rather than being clean and pristine. This style looks better with age. The house has copper shingles which right now look a bit odd, but I think in a few years with a greenish patina from the elements, this house will look amazing. Fujimori is very particular as to whom he takes on as clients. He likes to design with his clients rather than designing for them. This client was a ceramics instructor to Fujimori's children. He has this extensive collection of antiques that Fujimori took into consideration while designing the house. The teahouse is hanging off of the third floor and accessed through a small door that you have to crawl through. I could imagine that room would be perfect for just going into and being lost in thought for hours. After we left that house, we went over to his personal residence. It was very distinct. There are plants growing out of the walls!! There is just a certain feeling of intimacy in his interiors that is hard to describe or to photograph. Fujimori took us up onto the roof to get a better look, and then proceeded to climb up it!! When I thought we were going to leave, him and his wife had us sit down in the tearoom/living room and brought out lunch for all of us1 And it ended up being some of the best sushi I have ever had. Afterwards, his wife conducted a tea ceremony and gave us each macha (green tea). Fujimori and his wife were some of the most gracious people I have ever encountered. I was happy just to be shown his work, let alone be invited to lunch so unexpectedly. This experience will be forever in my memory of the wonderful time I spent in Japan.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bianca,

    I'm writing my thesis on Terunobu Fujimori's architecture and I was wondering if I might be able to use some of your photos? They are great pictures and it's been hard to find good ones of the copper house. I also love the one you got of him on the roof! I would of course give you image credit.

    kasanford (at) gmail (dot) com