Thursday, November 18, 2010

Charming Charred Homes

Charred homes? Pre-burned exterior siding? Architecture and nature collide forming striking compositions that are both modern and primitive at the hands of Terunobu Fujimori. Fujimori utilizes an ancient Japanese technique that seals the wood against rain and rot, but is seldom used by contemporary architects. This is in part because it’s labor-intensive—it takes seven minutes to char three boards. While Fujimori's buildings tend to be ecologically sensitive and extremely energy-efficient, it is not due to intention, but rather as a by-product of the visual design's components. Fujimori believes it is not the role of the architect, but the engineer's to be not only energy efficient, but also structurally sound (hmm . . . quite sure that passing that buck completely over to the engineers I work with wouldn't go over well - not only with them, but with my clients). "My intention is to visibly and harmoniously connect two worlds—the built world that mankind creates with the nature God created.” The outcome is often playful, sometimes curious, but always intriguing.

The Lamune Hot Spring House has two live trees as roof finials. Via

Akino Fuku Museum sprouts dead tree trunks. Via Terunobu Fujimori's Facebook Fan Page

The Tsubaki Castle (Camellia Castle), Oshima-machi, Tokyo looks like a medieval interpretation of the architect, Venturi's, design. Via

Inspired by the plant-covered thatched roofs prevalent in Normandy, the Tanpopo (Dandelion) House has strips of volcanic rock affixed to the facade, with flowers and grass blooming in the grooves between them. Via

The Charred boards give a crocodile-like finish Via

Fujimori's office is a fort perched upon two (yes, two, not three!) tree trunk supports fit for Dr. Seuss. Via

This is Not a DIY (Do It Yourself) Project!

Do not try this at home. And definitely do not try it in my neighborhood! (We've had enough fires, thank you very much.) Terunobu's time consuming process is primitive and painstaking but allegedly protects wood against rain, rot, and insects for 80 years.

All photos Via 
To read more about the historian turned architect, please visit:

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