The slope of a mountain in the Japanese city of Kumamoto has been the chosen as the place by the architect Sou Fujimoto to build a wooden house designed under the concept of “definitive wood architecture”. This architectural concept is new and aims at creating new building techniques in order to get an awakening of sensations throughout the use of wood as the main element.
The Japanese architect started with big blocks of cedar wood, with a 350mm profile, and with the aim of moving the two-dimensional building to a three-dimensional one. The building of the house was made by stacking the blocks in a mechanical way, emulating a giant jenga. The size of the blocks -350mm- is a suitable one when using it for furniture, seats or stairs, since according the author, it perfectly adapts to the measurements of the human body.
In this way, it is the material itself which defines the different spaces with its volume, without the need to create walls or floors distributing the space. Therefore, the in and out sections created by the blocks are used for sitting down, lying down or going up, whereas the gaps existing in the façade serve as windows.
Despite its limited dimensions -90 square metres of area and just 15 square metres built- the Definitive Wooden House by Sou Fujimoto has all the rooms needed to cover all the daily necessities of the modern life. Nevertheless, and according to its author, the indoor space is continuously reinterpreted depending on the place where each person is and the use each person wants to make of the rooms at any given time.
The uniqueness of the design resulted in the project becoming a part of the World Building Directory, after its author having been awarded the WAF Award.