is a design office based in Tokyo. With a foundation in architecture and a wider interest in art, our aim is to think creatively about space-making across all scales: interior, landscape, and urban design are integral to architecture. Aesthetically we are drawn to the dialogue between the formal to informal – the ordered and disordered – and seek to create space that is both conceptual and experiential.
As an international office based in Tokyo, we are inspired by the uniqueness of Japanese sensibilities. There is the deep tradition of crafts and the immersive approach to representation. There is the sprawling, collage-like city whose buildings, irregular and spontaneous, do not follow common aesthetic principles. There is the rich tradition of timber frame construction that strives to appear light, open and delicate, and its constitutive details that seek perfection through precision. And above all, there is the Japanese garden that symbolically mediates the natural and the artificial through the willful blend of geometric and figurative languages.
Between Western and Japanese art, we find two philosophical traditions with opposing principles: the dominance of shape and meaning against the importance of space and feeling. In the Western tradition, landscape is background, nature serves the idea, and the present is framed between the past and the future. In Japan, landscape fuses with content, nature mediates space, and the ebbs and flows of the time are fluid and perpetual. Architecturally, the two backgrounds diverge between the pursuit of the monumental (timeless, solid, universal) and the everyday (ephemeral, fluid, contingent).
We find design possibilities in the hybridization of the two traditions. Because each project has a distinct set of conditions, our approach is to derive a concept from its uniqueness. With this we focus on the experience of space, and seek to create environments that effectively shape the building from the inside out.