Made to Measure

“Behaviorology” by Atelier Bow-Wow

“What determines the happiness of a building?” Tokyo-based studio Atelier Bow-Wow—a design-duo comprising Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kajima—ask many such unconventional questions about architecture. Imagining their structures as emotional entities and, occasionally, animals, in 2002 they released the Pet Architecture Guide Book, which created a new definition for any small building squeezed into a tiny urban space—to them, such buildings are “humorous” and “charming,” just like a miniature puppy. Since then, Atelier Bow-Wow has gone on to mastermind liveable and quirky homes in restricted confines, such as House Tower, a concrete private residence that, despite covering just three square metres of floor space, towers above its neighbors at 11 meters high, and features ten petite floors and a floating staircase. The twosome’s 2008 Sway House, meanwhile, contorts itself to make the best of the sun's rays, with white panelled walls reeling away from the sidewalk, windows angled toward the sky. Tsukamoto and Kajima’s penchant for curious shapes and inventive solutions is also evident in specialized projects such as the School Wheel mobile classrooms and their installation Manga Pod—a customizable bookshelf that doubles as a reading room for Japanese Otakus.

Atelier Bow-Wow’s first comprehensive monograph, Behaviorology, is published on April 20 by Rizzoli.

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