Pas de deux

ELLE Decor (Italy) - - English Text - pho­tos by Mark See­len — words by Lau­ra Mag­gi

In Ja­pan, the per­fect com­bi­na­tion: the ar­chi­tec­tu­re of Ken­go Ku­ma and the in­te­rior de­si­gn of Liai­gre. In har­mo­ny wi­th the na­tu­re of the lo­ca­tion That tra­ce of DNA that Frank Lloyd Wright had de­fi­ned as “whe­re eve­ry­thing is na­tu­re” re­mains strong in con­tem­po­ra­ry Ja­pa­ne­se ar­chi­tec­tu­re and is the de­scrip­tion that per­fec­tly sums up the re­si­den­ce de­si­gned by Ken­go Ku­ma in the pre­fec­tu­re of Ka­na­ga­wa. Built on the slo­pe of a hill, it en­com­pas­ses the main re­si­den­ce of the pro­per­ty’s ow­ners, th­ree gue­sthou­ses and a tra­di­tio­nal tea hou­se. It is he­re, in this lit­tle cor­ner of Ja­pan, to the sou­th we­st of To­kyo that the key prin­ci­ples of the de­si­gn phi­lo­so­phy of Ken­go Ku­ma are put in­to prac­ti­ce: va­lo­ri­sa­tion of the ex­pres­si­ve po­ten­tials of the lo­ca­tion, re­spect for the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­text, the im­por­tan­ce of not abu­sing the exi­sting buil­dings, the ma­ni­pu­la­tion of light, cap­tu­red by see- th­rou­gh walls to ob­tain na­tu­ral ex­pres­si­ve ef­fec­ts, the re­co­ve­ry of the Ja­pa­ne­se buil­ding tra­di­tion and its in­ter­pre­ta­tion in a con­tem­po­ra­ry sty­le. The ar­chi­tec­tu­ral de­si­gn was in­te­gra­ted wi­th the in­te­rior de­si­gn pro­ject as­si­gned to Liai­gre who, af­ter a tho­rou­gh on- si­te in­spec­tion, stri­ved to crea­te be­spo­ke fur­ni­tu­re and ho­me so­lu­tions in har­mo­ny wi­th the ge­nius lo­ci. Li­ke the pre­sen­ce of the ce­dar wood ba­th tubs in the ba­th­rooms, a re­fe­ren­ce t o the par­ti­cu­lar cha­rac­te­ri­stic of the Ka­na­ga­wa area, fa­mous for its hot springs of sul­phu­rous wa­ter. In­deed, ce­dar wood, wi­th its mel­low, light co­lour sche­me, has been used for va­rious pie­ces of fur­ni­tu­re. Other ele­men­ts tied to the tra­di­tion of Ja­pa­ne­se in­te­riors in­clu­de the ta­ta­mi ma­ts co­ve­ring the floors and the sho­ji sli­ding walls in light­weight ri­ce pa­per whi­ch, whe­ther open or clo­sed, ena­ble the spa­ce to be de­fi­ned in a ran­ge of ways, ea­ch one al­ways dif­fe­rent from the one be­fo­re.

Pas de deux — p. 210

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