I thought I’d lighten up the mood after a busy holiday period, bringing with me a concise selection of imagery from Fujiwaramuro architects who’re based out of Osaka. My little jibe with Japan continues as I’ve been coming across a variety of inspiration from that part of the world, the consistent ideology that seems to influence Japanese designers and craftsman alike is very fascinating indeed. It could almost be pinned down to some sort of spiritual connection or bond. I’ve had this particular company stashed away in a draft for a while, giving myself a little time to hunt around for information on them and their work. Also, a major thing for me is to see their thinking behind the buildings and how they’ve shaped their ideas. I was grateful to find some words of wisdom regarding certain buildings, so I’ll share a few thoughts here and you can browse a selection of my favourite interior/exterior shots above and below. Hopefully you’ll like what you see!
Fujiwaramuro architects was founded by Shintaro Fujiwara and Yoshio Muro, who were classmate and friends at the Kinki University in Osaka. In 2002 they started the small firm and have been active designing mainly residential homes, but also some more experimental projects like retail environments. Now with quite a few employees on their staff list they’re producing an exciting array of work, and I’m positive 2013 is going to bring many more opportunities for them. One thing that I found fascinating about Shintaro and Yoshio is their usage of space and the way that they adapt to the activities of the user. Obviously in some areas of Japan you’re very much limited by how much you can use, but they take this in to account and strip back to only the necessities.
The ‘Slope House’ that they designed for example revolves around a piece of land that is shaped like a flagpole. This flagpole site is something you see all over Japan, after WWII the homeowner saw owning a home as one of the most patriotic things you could do and helped towards the rebuilding of Japan. Additionally if you were going to own a home, the ideal shape was that of a samurai residence, which happens to be defined by perfect square-shaped home that sits centrally of a larger square-shaped yard. In bigger cities the garden space was forfeited due to land being at a premium, so the square-shape that is iconic with Japan then came into being, with the mindset being ‘square = value’. Fujiwaramuro took it upon themselves to create a building with floors that slope down and around inside the property, sort of like a helter skelter, which creates extra undefined spaces on each side, an intriguing idea to say the least.
I have to say the lifestyle shots, seen in the image above, adds a very nice touch as you can see people in the houses and it gives us a glimpse of how the user might function in the property. There will be a few more in this particular style as you scroll down, but you’ll find plenty more on their portfolio site and quite a few buildings that I didn’t cover here. To finish it off, it says on their about page that the company is trying to “design to spend the rest of your life”, I think this is something that I’m putting on my list of resolutions for 2013. Maybe I need to plant that saying on my forehead!