Divided Views

When is a room not a room? The Jury is still out ...

By modelling the spaces, this tailor-made home offers an alternative to conventional domestic planning. 3

From the street, the faceted facade begins to express the complexity of the internal arrangement.

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 tailor-made spaces.

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. R.G.

Architect

Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo Project team

Sou Fujimoto,Yumiko Nogiri, Koji Aoki,

Hiroshi Kato

Photographs

1,3, Sou Fujimoto; 2, Shinkenchiku-Sha

By modelling the spaces, this tailor-made home offers an alternative to conventional domestic planning. 3

From the street, the faceted facade begins to express the complexity of the internal arrangement.

1 entrance

2 kitchen/living

3 master bedroom

4 study

5 piano room

6 Japanese-style room

7 child's bed

8 bathroom

9 child's bed 2 1 0 parking

HONOURABLE MENTION HOUSE, MAEBASHI CITY, JAPAN

Architect SOU FUJIMOTO ARCHITECTS

ground floor plan (scale approx 1:275)

Fit-out is a curious architectural medium. Often temporary, materially thin, and stylistically lover-egged, it is the more muted and restrained interiors that Llill. Ill IllJl usually attract recognition.

It came as somewhat of a surprise, therefore, that this year's Jury decided to give this small project, Tides Restaurant, an honourable mention. Little was known about the restaurant's genre; even less was revealed about the spatial layout. Quite simply, it was the sheer ambition of the ceiling that intrigued the Jury.

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