Thursday, October 11, 2012

Furnishing Tama

[Photo by Iwan Baan | image source]

One thing I learned about Toyo It's design for the Tama Art University Library (2007) when reviewing Forces of Nature recently was how the ground floor slopes, which required some skill in terms of furnishings. Ito decided to have the countertops remain level even as the floor pitched itself at 1:20, meaning that stools had to not only be adjustable in height but actually sit up straight on a leaning floor.

[Photo Photo by Fujie Kazuko Atelier | image source]

The resulting stool—carried out with Fujie Kazuko Atelier*, a firm with a mission to "propose the comfortable relationship between architecture and furniture"—is an adjustable-height design that sits upon what can be described as a squished ball rather than four legs. This allows the stool to address the two driving considerations on the ground floor, but I'm guessing it also makes sitting at the counters and computer workstations kind of fun.

[Photo Photo by Fujie Kazuko Atelier | image source]

Yet Kazuko Atelier's documentation of the building's furniture doesn't stop with the stools. They also show some chairs whose backs peel away (above), ideal for lounging and listening to music or watching videos, and an undulating object that is less furniture than a surface for improvisation (below). The more I look at Ito's design for Tama, the more I'm impressed by it. Some of that appreciation stems from the choice of furnishings, which work well with the architecture but don't try to compete with it (I'm glad furniture with arched legs, for example, wasn't the route taken).

[Photo Photo by Fujie Kazuko Atelier | image source]

*I'm not sure if Kazuko Atelier is responsible for the design for the furniture or just its selection, but nevertheless they are an integral part of furnishing the spaces.


  1. Really interesting building (and interior furnishings). While I'm not always a fan of circular form, I'm drawn to it in this circumstance because of it's even repetition. Thanks for posting.


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