Sou Fujimoto (1971) graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Tokyo University with a degree in architecture. The majority of his work (initially characterised by projects in small spaces) is concentrated in Japan, where he founded Sou Fujimoto Architects in 2000. Fujimoto rose to fame a few years later after winning the Architectural Review Awards prize for emerging personalities in the world of architecture for three years in a row. He teaches at the universities in Tokyo, Kyoto and Minato (Keio University). His recent lecture at the Architectural League of New York (2014) entitled “Between Nature and Architecture” represents a key to his theoretical reflections inspired by organic and natural structures (such as forests and caves), from which Fujimoto draws his inspiration for an “ambiguous interpretation of spaces and forms”. Fujimoto says that, into the complexity of the natural environment, “we inject our human sense of order (and vice versa), carrying forward a new definition of space which responds to the changing times”.
His works fit into this place between “the natural and the human artificial”, as revealed by his many homes in Japan: the T House (2005), with its floral layout, consisting of one big room which irradiates outward with centripetal tension: House N (2008), with its concentric shell-shaped structure; the Final Wooden House (2008), with huge wooden beams forming its walls, floor and roof; the transparent house NA (2010), with its glass walls, inspired by life in a tree.
Reflection on the integration of natural and architectural elements remains a key theme in his futuristic projects outside of Japan as well, including the fascinating cloud-like mesh structure created for the Serpentine Gallery in London (2013) and the plan for the 10 thousand square metre White Tree tower, described as the “architectural folly of the 21st century” (2014). In 2012 Fujimoto was a member of the team winning the Golden Lion at the Architecture Exhibition in Venice.