“It is like a witch’s home conjured up in the wicked mind of a brilliant architect.” This is how the famous architect Arata Isozaki described the work of Terunobu Fujimori.
A few months ago, I made an actual visit to see Takasugi-an and Flying Mud Boat by Terunobu Fujimori. Only until then did I fully realize how accurate Arata Isozaki’s remark was. While most of the contemporary Japanese architects consider minimalism the ideal of design, Terunobu Fujimori refuses to conform to these rules. Utilising materials like grass and dandelions for rooftop and earth for walls, his designs feature a heavy use of wavy lines. Buildings like Takasugi-an and Flying Mud Boat are not even stood on the ground; to enter the structure, one would need to carefully climb up a ladder.
After establishing himself as a professor and a scholar of modern architectural and urban history, with a few books under his belt, in 1991, in a place close to the current location of Takasugi-an and Flying Mud Boat, Fujimori designed the Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum. This marked Fujimori’s debut as an architect at the age of 44. Since then, he has continued to make buildings that actively incorporate natural materials and even vegetation. His works are considered as “Jomon architecture” which is rustic and primary with a linkage to ancient history.
Hiroshima MOCA is currently hosting an exhibition themed Terunobu Fujimori: Architecture with Nature, and “ROJO” to introduce Fujimori’s ingenious architectural works through models, photographs, as well as samples from roofs and walls, furniture, and a tearoom.