Fumihiko Sano Studio

Fumihiko Sano Studio


  • Practice: Fumihiko Sano Studio
  • Website: fumihikosano.jp/
  • Firm Location: Tokyo
  • Country: Japan
  • Year: 2011

(“Text as submitted by Architect”)

Fumihiko Sano

Fumihiko Sano was born on 1981 in Nara Prefecture. Sano became an apprentice as a Sukiya carpenter at Nakamura Souji Construction Company in Kyoto. After working at a design office, he began an independent studio in 2011.

Utilizing the construction methods, materials, and sense of dimensions gained from the experience of the field, he explores what Japanese culture is today as a basis for concepts and designs.

In 2016, he visited 16 countries around the world and carried out a project to create a tea room as a place of hospitality in each location.

Aiming to create new value for the culture of various regions, he continues to carry out cross-disciplinary activities such as architecture, interior design, products, and artwork.

Awards: EDIDA 2014 ELLE DECO Young Japanese Design Talent, IF DESIGN AWARD 2020 Award, 2016 Japan Cultural Envoy, Dezeen Awards shortlists, FRAME AWARD nominate, IDEA-TOPs nominate, etc.

Practice Ideology

Sukiya carpenter is a carpenter who specializes in tea rooms, restaurants, cultural properties, guesthouses, etc. Unlike traditional Japanese shrines and temples, Sukiya design uses a multitude of unique materials. A combination of barked logs, bamboo, cypress, cedar, pine, chestnut, and hemlock are often utilized in architecture built by Sukiya craftsmen. As an apprentice of a Sukiya style construction company, Fumihiko Sano learned to use various materials, to illustrate the beauty of individual grain in wood, to work with different textures and to utilize the natural fragrance organic objects.

There are certain spaces that can only be properly designed with specific materials. Furthermore, when using organic materials no two materials are the same, meaning that spaces designed in Sukiya architecture are uniquely one of a kind design. Despite the cost of materials, our firm’s works are developed through the culture of the environment to incorporate the project with the existing context. Our work highlights the aesthetics of high level craftsmanship and the value of each individual material.

Traditional Japanese crafts are being slowly lost due to the rapid passing of time and influence of capitalism. By utilizing the experience learned from traditional Japanese crafts, Fumihiko Sano Studio strives to preserve and modernize the culture that our predecessors have protected in the past.

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