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Garden+ Lecture Series: Sou Fujimoto

Between Architecture and Nature

Fujimoto’s architecture practice challenges convention by blurring boundaries between interior and exterior, structure and furniture, nature and architecture. His ideas are given voice not just in large-scale projects such as the White Tree multi-use tower in Montpellier, France, but also in playful projects like an installation evoking the feeling of walking through a forest of light, and a visual statement at the Chicago Biennale on ‘found architecture.’ Drawing inspiration from nature – he cites the forest landscape of his Hokkaido childhood as a formative influence – his interpretations on tradition and the relation of the built and natural environments skip effortlessly across centuries and national borders. In a striking visual presentation, Fujimoto will share the visionary philosophy and ideas behind some of his major projects and help us rethink tradition and the relation between the built and natural environments.

Sou Fujimoto

One of the best-known Japanese architects today, Sou Fujimoto founded his eponymous architecture firm in 2000. The Hokkaido-born 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. 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 is a key theme in his projects both inside and outside of Japan. Some of his most significant works include the cloud-like mesh structure of the Serpentine Gallery in London and the White Tree apartment tower in France. In 2012 Fujimoto was a member of the team winning the Golden Lion at the Architecture Exhibition in Venice.

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Limited copies of his book Sou Fujimoto Architecture Works 1995-2015 (Toto, 2015) will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

The Garden+ lecture series places the Japanese garden in bold and inspiring new contexts by bringing designers, authors, practitioners, and researchers to the Garden to share fresh ideas.  Come experience original perspectives, thought-provoking research, and new creative work. We bring presenters from around the globe to shed new light on how gardens connect to subjects as diverse as spirituality, technical innovation, architecture, culture, design, and society — all made more resonant with the  Garden itself as a backdrop. Garden+ is a presentation of the International Japanese Garden Training Center, which is supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.