French Architect Brings Brilliant Color to Tokyo

French Architect Brings Brilliant Color to Tokyo

By Winifred Bird
A French architect and designer makes her saturated mark on Tokyo’s streetscape.

Most buildings begin with an idea or an image: the architect muses over a concept, sketches a form, or mulls client requests. Emmanuelle Moureaux is different. The first thing the French-born, Tokyo-based architect does when she sits down to tackle a new project is decide how many colors she’ll use. Eight? Fifteen? Thirty? Lime green? Lollipop pink? Sky blue? Whether the end product is an outrageously cheerful bank or a rainbow-bright lacquered cabinet, color is Moureaux’s preferred tool for evoking rhythm, depth, and emotion. "I use colors as three-dimensional elements to create space, not as a finishing touch applied to surfaces," says Moureaux, the principal of Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design. She calls the style shikiri, meaning "to divide and create space through color." 

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