When is a room not a room? The Jury is still out …
T house - by Sou Fujimoto - was a highly contested choice. The house, which is essentially a single volume space, provides accommodation for a family of four and also serves as a space within which to display the owner’s private collection of contemporary art. Some Jury members thought this was a completely unworkable space to inhabit, with the building’s contorted spaces providing little flexibility. Assuming that the client was party to the design process, however, raises an equally pertinent counter-assumption that the space is exactly what they wanted; a unique, bespoke, albeit unorthodox series of tailormade spaces.
Source: Sou Fujimoto
Ground floor plan
Recalling primitive housing models that arranged private areas around a central core, this home’s eight principal rooms are ordered in a radial manner. Rather than being organised around a centralised hall, however, each space is a sub-division of the single volume, with no spatial hierarchy. Held between a single unified floor and ceiling, rooms are defined by lightweight timber walls simply made from 12mm thick plywood fixed to 45x45mm vertical studs. Each partition has an unfinished face, articulated by the exposed studs, and a smooth painted face, allowing the architects to set up an alternating arrangement of wooden or white rooms.
House, Maebashi City, Japan
Architect: Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo
Project team: Sou Fujimoto, Yumiko Nogiri, Koji Aoki, Hiroshi Kato
Photographs: Sou Fujimoto, Shinkenchiku-Sha