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AIDIA JOURNAL 2007 vol.7, 2. the interior history


Architectural Furniture -furniture combining architectural functions

Toshihiko Suzuki


2. Architectural furniture shown up in the interior history

It was relatively recent years that the concept like architectural furniture occurs, and pioneering examples thereof includes Schroder House built by Gerrit Rietveld or Maison Dalsace built by Pierre Chareau wherein a boundary between architecture and furniture was designed in 1920’s. However, little architectural furniture had been shown after that for some time.
Then, in 1960’s, some designers following in the wake of metabolism made representation of some projects relating to architectural furniture.

(a) “Furniture Room Dwelling” by GK Design (1964) is a proposal to utilize interior space flexibly and efficiently by reducing partitions within houses as less as possible and by doing lay out changeable furniture freely instead of partitions.

(b) “Houses without architecture – architectural furniture” by Masayuki Kurokawa (1971) is a building wherein concrete dome skeleton and waterworks are only fixed and all the remaining space is composed of huge movable furniture. In the movable furniture, a bed, sofa, desk, bookshelf, wardrobe and so on are incorporated; therefore, they are partitions as well as furniture. Various arrangements are possible by their revolving.
In 1990’s, some proposals were presented by some architects and artists in America.

(e) “Model apartment for the Police Building” by Smith, Miller and Hawkinson (1989) is a model house with conversion theme. It realizes spaces like a bedroom and study by partitioning a high-ceiling space with something which is a combination of a closet, bookshelf, desk and walls. Further, the layout of the place can be changed by the wall revolving.

(f) “A-Z Living Units” by Andrea Zittel (1993-1994) is a foldable and extendable multi-functional box to live in a small apartment compactly. Minimum necessity articles for living such as a bed, kitchen, desk, closet is combined in a portable set. It is an art work but actually utilized. About 10 kinds of the work are produced as a series.

In addition, Japanese architects made some proposals for architectural furniture after that
(g) “Baumhaus” by Nobuaki Furuya and Studio NASCA (1999) is a plan for rental housing which is an empty space with just 2 movable boxes except for minimum waterworks in order to correspond with various articles to be brought in by unspecified tenants. Those boxes are not only for storage but partitions which separate the space flexibly.

(h) “Naked House” by Shigeru Ban (2001) is a plan that a huge single space wherein a wall-free kitchen, bathroom and storage partitioned by a curtain are deployed beside the wall and living room box with wheel attached is placed therein. It made it possible to separate the kitchen, bathroom living room and so on from the architecture and to enable them to move easily.

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