My smallest architecture
Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
11 – 25 June 2021
The portion where the base of timber pillars has been chamfered diagonally has long been called “bamboo shoots” by masters of the tea ceremony. This is a manifestation of the sensibility of wabi-sabi, which sees bamboo shoots poking through the floor, unloved in a home, as worthy of adoration as charms of a humble abode. My use of timbers in architecture, too, is not only for the beauty of the materials but also to imbue the space with the naturalist aesthetics of people in Japan who live in harmony with nature. It was my wish to create a chair suited to such a modest locale.
Time & Style is a brand that has valued the aesthetic sense and spirituality of Japanese people, in manufacturing that begins with the sawing and drying of timber and addresses the wood with respect. Empathizing with that stance, I requested the production of dining chairs and lounge chairs.
My initial concept was for a chair that holds a small spatial quality composed of camellia wood parts retaining the bark, structured horizontally and vertically in the manner of Japanese wooden frame architecture. The locations where the toes of the user contact the rear legs moving around the chair to the front, and where the heels tend to contact the front legs when seated, were cut diagonally in the pursuit of comfort and usability, revealing “bamboo shoots.” Care was also taken so the arms can be hung on a table for easy cleaning underneath. Just as cleaning is a practice of Zen temples, beautifully purifying a place is a philosophical and religious practice in the way that we live. Based on that conceptual model, this product is made from solid bars of sawn lumber to be available to many people.
“Sweeping the floor and living together with nature.” A chair for such humble living has been born. (Hiroshi Nakamura)
Hiroshi Nakamura is born in Tokyo in 1974 and has spent his teen years in Kamakura and Kanazawa. He graduated from the Graduate School of Science and Technology of Meiji University in 1999 with his master degree in Architecture.
After the graduation, he has joined Kengo Kuma & Associates. In 2002, he established Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP. Currently, he is the representative of NAP Consultant, NAP International, and NAP Design Works, dealing with a wide range of fields from urban development to furniture.
To Nakamura, architecture is all about the relationship between nature and mankind. Through “microscopic design”, he found the dynamic balance among architecture, natural environment and human emotion. Nakamura is motivated to design site-specific work linked to local history, culture and natural resources. In recent years, he is fascinated by traditional Japanese architecture and garden culture which share the same essence of his design principle, and has managed to integrate and reinterpret some of the iconic elements into his works.
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