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11 Images

The Unconventional Architecture of Terunobu Fujimori

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Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori’s 2004 take on the traditional teahouse, Takasugi-an (Too High Teahouse), in Nagano, rises 20 feet in the air on cedar legs. “A teahouse is something you shouldn’t make for others. So I built this one for myself,” he says. “I couldn’t tell how big it would be because of the scaffolding around it while it was being built. I didn’t expect it to be this high. But it’s my favorite.” (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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Roof gardens have long been a way to incorporate plants with architecture, but in Terunobu Fujimori’s Tsubaki Castle (Camellia Castle), plants grow over the entire building. This chateau-style building was completed in 2000, and is capped with a camellia plant that sits on the topmost point of the roof. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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A dramatically sloping roof sprouts potted leeks at Nira House (Leek House), designed by the Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori in 1997. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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Ichiya-tei (One Night Teahouse), a teahouse Terunobu Fujimori nestled in the woods, was built in 2005 as the site where former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa hosted visiting French President Jacques Chirac. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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Lamune Onsen (Hot Spring House) was built in Lamune, Japan, by the architect Terunobu Fujimori in 2005. The building is made of plaster inset with a traditional material called yakisugi (charred cedar boards) and sports foliage from its towers. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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Detail of an exterior wall that is lined and embedded with grass on the Tsubaki Castle (Camellia Castle), from 2000, a home designed by Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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Tan-ken (1999), a ski resort tearoom built of bamboo and rope, hosts meetings and concerts under a charcoal-laden roof in Niigata. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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Interior of Ku-an (Right-Angle Teahouse), built in the back garden of a Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Designed by Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori, it was completed in 2003. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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A fireplace inside Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori’s Yakisugi House. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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It’s a primitive effect at the Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum (1991), on the grounds of a Shinto shrine in Chino City, Japan. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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“Because it’s architecture, my buildings have to be real; but I don’t feel like designing something unless it has fantasy elements,” says Terunobu Fujimori, an architect who takes a hands-on approach. (Dana Buntrock / University of California, Berkeley)
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