Architecture hasn’t been a feature on the site as of late, so I’m making a conscious effort to slot some in to the mix. In fact, I’ve had a few draft posts saved of locations around the web that have inspired me but I hadn’t been able to string something together as such, so today we’re going to have a quick look at some works by talented Japanese architecture firm Hiroyuki Shinozaki. To be honest you might have come across a few of these properties before, some have been talked about extensively online and have even won awards and prizes. I’m not one to showcase or discuss popular subjects, but the reason why I pulled these across is for you to admire the portfolio as a whole rather than just singularly. Plus, if you’re inspired by architecture and are maybe thinking of working up some small-scale models, the Hiroyuki Shinozaki website would be a good place to start for inspiration. They’ve built some fantastic structures out of card and other simple materials that makes you really appreciate the crafted element behind the design, and you can tell they put a lot of thought in to the way humans use an environment through their miniature models with little people cut out. It gives the buildings that extra something to see them come alive and move, as tacky as that sounds.
If you’re familiar with their work it could be through the naming of their builds, they don’t actually call the houses by a specific phrase, they just name them ‘House A’ or ‘House K’, which seems to be the trademark now throughout the portfolio. It kind of works to be honest and goes along with their simplistic aesthetic. As with all design, I love ‘open and airy’, whether that be a beautiful glass cup that’s stripped down, or a piece of furniture that’s constructed only of necessary parts, whilst solving the design problem in the most suitable way. As with any portfolio you’re going to have discrepancies where you slightly disagree with certain things that the designer has done, or there’s elements that you wouldn’t have done yourself, but I feel that the Hiroyuki Shinozaki website has a nice variety of ideas. They’re also full of fun concepts which break the boundaries of architecture, not always playing it safe.
These ‘fun’ elements include tiny little rooms hidden away in the walls, basically acting as pods to sleep in, or interesting separated areas where the user can get up to the top floor via a wooden piece of furniture that doubles as a bookcase. This location may not be child friendly as such, but the architect has had to solve a problem for a couple that wanted a big space of out a small location. Plus, it’s interesting to see that they’ve left two areas on each side that could be boarded up and levelled off if the user ever wanted to use it like a natural building, so you have some leeway. Overall I think there’s some great ideas and you can certainly take something from the work, either the aesthetic, structure, or the ideology of pushing concepts to the limit and taking risks.