Every trip we have had to Japan has been a wonderful one, but we always fill our itinerary too much and we are embarrassed to say we rarely get the chance to visit museums, gardens, or temples during our visits. We do sometimes come across beautiful gardens and buildings by mistake (it’s not very difficult in Japan), but during our next trip we have to create a more leisurely schedule and try some touristy stuff for once.
Having said that, through our work we had the opportunity to visit some spectacular architecture projects by one of my favorite architects Terunobu Fujimori. I guess the first time I was acquainted with Mr. Fujimori’s work was around 5 years ago when we first started to have a conversation with Peter and Christine from Studio Junction. I remember right away being smitten with his work, and enamored with his use of materials and craftsmanship. I would be even more impressed as I learned more about him, that he almost always uses amateur craftsmen for his projects, and was an architecture historian for decades before being commissioned his first project.
As luck would have it, we visited one of the handful of public architecture works by Fujimori, and his very first commission which was completed in 1991.
The Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum.
We hope you enjoy the photos!
Cedar timber peaks extend through the roof to the entrance of the museum.
All of the metal components of the museum including the handles and hinges on the windows and doors were forged by a very famous metal worker in Kyoto.
Of course you have to take your shoes off to enter the museum.
A handmade window looks as if it has rain constantly trickling down.
The interior walls and floor are a mix of mortar, straw, and mud.
Because the walls, ceiling, and floor are the same colour there is a visual softness to the space. All of the lines are blurred.
The collection of taxidermy represents the various sacrifices during the festivals in the region.
The exterior cedar paneling is actually hand split log, by a master who unfortunately has since passed away. We were shown two boards, one attempted by Fujimori-san, and the other by the master and it was incredible the difference between the two. The hand split log follows the natural texture of the wood grain, as oppose to a saw which cuts straight through the wood. The texture on the wood is incredible, and the owner of the museum told us if one day they must replace the cladding they will not be able to do it with hand split logs.
The building resonates perfectly within its surroundings.
In other news, we are happy to say our 2nd book is going to print very soon. Please stay tuned!