Who wouldn’t want a house that looks, feels, and probably smells like an art museum? Well…probably not everyone, but certainly the artist and collector who tasked Ryumei Fujiki and Yukiko Sato of F.A.D.S. with doing just that. The House for Contemporary Art is a standout design that emerges from the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan to present something not often seen in residential architecture. A quick glance at the stark, seamless, white exterior provides instant understanding of what the designer set out to achieve: a house that is a museum but is actually still a home.
From a distance the single-story structure looks like pieces of smooth, white foam core of various lengths were super-glued together by an ambitious architecture student. The rectilinear shapes represent a pureness in form that harkens back to the heyday of Richard Meier and Peter Eisenman.
Turn the corner and a bit of articulation greets you in the form of a recessed entry door and a rather large garage opening. The rest of the home opens back towards a fenced in courtyard resulting in an introverted concept with a bizarrely absent street presence.
But that all changes once you get past the minimum-wage-earning security guard who scans your ticket and checks your purse for unauthorized carbonated beverages. The interior opens up like an iceberg rose on a sunny Spring morning, flooding the senses with light airy marshmallow fluff draped over the walls, floors, fixtures and furniture. A museum indeed. Colorful accents are provided by select pieces of art – all meticulously lit and positioned as if curated by Michelangelo himself!
The volumetric boxes terminate towards the rear courtyard with floor to ceiling, wall to wall openings of glazed panels accented by thin black mullions. The boxes extend out past the glass with a beveled ends that gives the profile a knife-edge thinness. Everything reinforces the motif set in motion by the client, who truly got a house that feels like a museum. Just, please, no flash photography.
Architects: Ryumei Fujiki + Yukiko Sato / F.A.D.S
Photography: Hiroshi UEDA