I'm starting to see a disturbing trend in the blogosphere, whereby amazing projects are featured with absolutely no mention made of the designer(s) behind them. A good case in point is the beautiful Sugamo Shinkin bank in Shimura, Japan, completed in March and designed by Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design (and incorrectly credited on several sites as being by "Sugamo Shinkin Design," which does not exist). Though born and educated in France, Moureaux moved to Tokyo in the mid-'90s and acquired a Japanese First Class Architect's license by the early '00s.
Moureaux does amazing things with color, making it look as if someone carrying architect's blueprints rounded a corner and crashed into someone carrying Pantone swatches, creating a Reese's-Peanut-Butter-Cup-like design style. The Sugamo Shinkin bank design features what Moureaux calls a "Rainbow mille-feuille," in addition to shafts of natural light encapsulated in glass:
A rainbow-like stack of 12 colored layers, peeking out from the facade to welcome visitors. Upon entering the building, three elliptical skylights bathe the interior in a soft light. Visitors spontaneously look up to see a cut-out piece of the sky that invites them to gaze languidly at it. The open sky and sensation of openness prompts you to take deep breaths, refreshing your body from within. The ceiling is adorned with dandelion puff motifs that seem to float and drift through the air. Three long glass airwells thread through the first and second levels of the building, flooding the interior with natural light as well as "blowing" air through it.
The rest of Moureaux's portfolio is equally stunning, containing a mix of residential and commercial spaces done up in Moureaux's unmistakably distinct style. Check it out here. (She also keeps a blog detailing various projects, but it's Japanese-only and a bit more poetic than Google Translate can handle.)
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