"EVERY KIND OF ARCHITECTURAL DEFINITION
HAS AN IN-BETWEEN SPACE" - SOU FUJIMOTO

| 9 comments

Dezeen and MINI World Tour: in this movie Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto discusses his philosophy of designing structures that are "in between" opposing concepts such as nature and architecture, and says the approach could work just as well on a skyscraper as a small private house.

Sou Fujimoto
Sou Fujimoto. Copyright: Dezeen

"Nature and architecture are fundamental themes [of my work]," says Fujimoto, speaking to Dezeen after giving his keynote speech at this year's World Architecture Festival.

"I like to find something in between. Not only nature and architecture but also inside and outside. Every kind of definition has an in-between space. Especially if the definitions are two opposites, then the in-between space is more rich."

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London by Sou Fujimoto
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London by Sou Fujimoto. Copyright: Dezeen

Fujimoto gives his recently completed Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London as an example of his philosophy, in which he used a series of geometric lattices to create a cloud-like structure.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London by Sou Fujimoto
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London by Sou Fujimoto. Copyright: Dezeen

"In various meanings it is in between things," he says of the project. "It's made by a grid, but the shape is very soft and complex. The experience is half nature and half super-artificial."

Final Wooden House in Kumamoto, Japan, by Sou Fujimoto
Final Wooden House in Kumamoto, Japan, by Sou Fujimoto. Photograph by Edmund Sumner

Fujimoto then goes on to discuss Final Wooden House in Japan, in which chunky timber beams form the walls, floors and roof of the house, as well as the furniture and stairs inside.

Final Wooden House in Kumamoto, Japan, by Sou Fujimoto
Final Wooden House in Kumamoto, Japan, by Sou Fujimoto. Photograph by Edmund Sumner

"It's a beautiful integration of the architectural elements in various different levels," says Fujimoto. "The wooden blocks could be the floor or the furniture or the walls, so in that house every definition is melding together."

House NA in Tokyo by Sou Fujimoto
House NA in Tokyo by Sou Fujimoto. Photograph by Iwan Baan

Finally, Fujimoto discusses House NA in Tokyo, which consists of several staggered platforms and hardly has any walls.

"It is not like a house but more like a soft territory, something beyond a house," he says. "The client is a young couple and they are really enjoying their life in that house."

House NA in Tokyo by Sou Fujimoto
House NA in Tokyo by Sou Fujimoto. Photograph by Iwan Baan

Fujimoto believes his approach can be scaled up to larger projects

"The concept of creating something in-between is not only for the smaller scale," he says. "I think it could be developed more, for example [up to] skyscraper scale."

"The high-rise building and landscaping are opposite, but maybe it could be a nice challenge to find something between skyscrapers and landscaping. I like to expand my way of thinking to explore pioneering or hidden places in the architectural field."

Dezeen's MINI Paceman in Singapore
Our MINI Paceman in Singapore. Copyright Dezeen

We drove around Singapore in our MINI Cooper S Paceman. The music in the movie is a track called Itsu by Man Oeuvre.

You can listen to more music by Man Oeuvre on Dezeen Music Project and watch more of our Dezeen and MINI World Tour movies here.

  • Fair Trade

    Start paying your interns.

    • lullylux

      I totally agree. I am so disappointed in his morals that I do not want to hear about him or his work anymore. Doing something wrong is one thing, but being proud of it makes it only worse.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Where does he get the notion that architecture and nature are opposing?

  • sickofbuls£%t

    Pay your interns!

  • Steeevyo

    “I like to expand my way of thinking to explore pioneering or hidden places in the architectural field.”

    I think you mean:

    “I like to expand my way of thinking to explore pioneering or hidden places in the architectural field – with the help of my unpaid interns.”

  • north central

    This guy is overrated.

  • Kenny Loggins

    I don’t know if it has been mentioned before, but could you maybe pay your interns?

  • Harr7959

    I wish people would stop fetishising Japanese architects. All I see above are 3 sculptures. Here in Japan 99.99% of all houses are horrible, leaky, poorly designed rabbit hutches. The 0.01% that are designed by architects do not represent reality.

    Here is an idea for Fujimoto: start paying your interns, give your architects a living wage (starting pay is 1,000$USD/month, after a 3 month unpaid period,) and start doing work that has a positive effect on our country instead of wasting everyone’s time with this rubbish.

  • space_jam

    Why is this guy getting so much exposure? Incredibly overrated.