Floating Architecture

Japanese Surrealist Terunobu Fujimori Reveals His Otherworldly Vision

A one-legged teahouse suspended amid cherry trees in the Japanese mountains showcases the vivid imagination and designs of architect Terunobu Fujimori. Conceiving his first creation at the age of 42, Fujimori is considered one of the world’s first surrealists in his field. Working solely with natural materials such as earth, wood and stone, the modern eccentric has dedicated his career to pioneering contemporary design with buildings “that float in the air” and roofs covered with living leek plants. Curating the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2006, Fujimori invited audiences to remove their shoes and enter the exhibition through a hole in a wooden wall to sit in a simple straw hut. “A building should not resemble anyone else's buildings, past or present, or any style that has developed since the Bronze Age,” he explains of his fairytale structures. This month sees the release of a new comprehensive monograph, Terunobu Fujimori: Architect, illuminate by personal drawings, photographs and his own intimate words. Co-edited by curator Hannes Rössler, the tome coincides with the largest retrospective of Fujimori’s work to date at the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, featuring a new mobile teahouse situated in the Museum’s gardens.

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