“No architecture is natural;” architect Tenrunobu Fujimori said this in an interview. Even though architecture can be built using only natural materials, Fujimori thinks that nothing is natural as long as it includes straight and flat lines. “Nothing is straight or flat in nature,” Fujimori explains. Fujimori’s opinion is definitely an extremist way of thinking, but his ideas are none the less intriguing to me, since I’ve never really thought about eco-friendly or natural structures still being fundamentally unnatural due to the manipulation of materials by man. Fujimori’s ideal architecture is completely united with nature, and requires no tools or cutting whatsoever. One of Fujimori’s famous designs that exhibits this concept is Takasugian, a teahouse that stands on two chestnut trees that act as columns. Fujimori is very interested in ecology, and he believes in implementing a type of ecology dubbed “visual ecology.” The goal of visual ecology is to create structures so natural that the viewer can pick out what ecological systems compose it, which is somewhat achieved in Takasugian. I do enjoy this idea, and I agree that it could be achieved in a beautiful and educational way. Takasugian is definitely much more natural by Fujimori’s definition than probably almost any other architecture I’ve seen, but it still does not embrace the concept of completely natural, which we can see expressed in the ladders (which had to be cut), the perfectly square window, and the straight edges of the walls. Perhaps Fujimori is still working towards his goal of completely natural, but has not yet found a way to circumvent all tools and manipulations (I know I’d be stumped on this point). Though I find Takasugian’s concept interesting, I find the design extremely unattractive, like a piece of failed Dr. Seuss concept art. I do not think it is possible to fully embrace Fujimori’s ideas and create works of beautiful, visually appealing architecture, but I would highly enjoy the chance to be proven wrong, as I think such an achievement would be astounding.
Dr. Suess’s Picture