Defying convention at every turn, the ‘kitschy’ and ‘idiosyncratic’ designs of Japanese architectural historian-turned architect Terunobu Fujimori belies the level of understanding garnered to achieve this particular blend of architectural alchemy. Like an eco-warrior from the post-modern 1980’s gone wild, here, form not only doesn’t follow function; in some cases ‘function’ for all intents and purposes, has been left to bite the dust.
How else could one explain, tea houses hanging in the air, suspended by cables or perched on top of tree trunks that are inaccessible except by lugging a 20 foot ladder across a field? Unless of course one considers the ‘higher’ function as the real function; the traditional Japanese requirement to struggle (nijiriguchi) in order to get to a place of worship. Which calls for thought; could these works be seen as a critique on the limitations of modernism, the narrow view on what’s considered ‘function’ or ‘functional’ or something that ‘works’? However, Japanese tea-rooms and tea-houses are not exactly places of worship, but more of a hybrid, contemplative, pseudo-spiritual event so there is some ambiguity here.