Japanese architect and architectural historian Terunobu Fujimori is his voracious appetite. A longtime professor at the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, Fujimori came to designing late—he got his first commission at age 44, 19 years ago—but he has since conceived some of Japan’s most startlingly original buildings, on average one per year.A modern eccentric with an architectural sensibility drawn from ancient Japanese traditions, Terunobu Fujimori designs projects that are exercises in playful experimentation and sophisticated craft.
Fujimori basically fell into designing buildings after his native village commissioned him to design a small history museum for a local family with ancient ties to the area. As he pondered what form the building should take, he felt the weight of all of architectural history bearing down on him. “Since I was a famous architectural historian,” he says, “I thought my architecture should be totally unique, dissimilar to any architecture that came before. I figured that if I did something traditionally European or Japanese, everyone would say ‘Oh, it’s because he’s a historian.’ I didn’t want that criticism.” But at the same time, he wanted to stay away from anything too contemporary. “Some of my closest friends, like Tadao Ando and Toyo Ito, were architects who were starting to get famous, and I didn’t want them to laugh at me and say, ‘Oh, you mimic my work.’”Read more at Dwell