Terunobu Fujimori's Charred Cedar House, completed in 2007. As the name implies, the entire home is clad in charred cedar boards, which have been treated with an ancient Japanese technique that seals the wood against rain and rot.
The 1991 Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum, Fujimori’s first commissioned building, signaled the themes that continue to drive his work: design in harmony with nature; raw, natural materials (wood, mud-and-mortar walls); and a Neolithic-inspired architectural style.
The Tanpopo House's family tearoom is an updated take on Japan’s traditional flexible, open-plan tatami-mat room. Here, the charcoal fire pit for the teapot is an electric coil embedded in the floor, and the flooring is a durable rattan from Indonesia. Plaster oozing in between oak planks gives the room a warm, rough-hewn feel—a Fujimori signature.
In Fujimori’s most recent project, Coal House, a tearoom protrudes from the second story, accessible from the exterior by a timber ladder that appears to pierce the roof and from the interior by a secret door in the master bedroom.
Fujimori's retreat in Nagano, The Too-High Tea House, which is adorned with a roof of hand-rolled copper sheets, seems precariously perched atop a pair of tree trunks 20 feet in the sky. Why two? “One leg is dangerous and three legs are too stable and boring.”