Pas de deux
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