Designing for the Future

Sou Fujimoto

This conversation was held within the Hay Festival Segovia 2022 organized by the IE University.
Interview by Marta Bugés. Filmed by Jesus Pascual Aragoneses. Edited by Evgeniya Barashkova.

urbanNext interviews Sou Fujimoto about design strategies that foster relationships between inhabitants by merging architecture with nature. Sou is the founding principal of Sou Fujimoto Architects, based in Tokyo and Paris. The House of Music in Budapest and L’Arbre Blanc in Montpellier are two of his most recent projects in which he proposes spaces that respond to the needs of the future.

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L’Arbre Blanc: Enriching the City’s Architectural Heritage

Sou Fujimoto

Architects: Sou Fujimoto Architects, Laisné Roussel and OXO architectes
Location: Montpellier, France
Area: 11.900 m2
Year: 2019
Photography: Iwan Baan

In 2013, Montpellier city council launched the “Folie Richter” competition. It sought to identify a blueprint for a beacon tower to enrich the city’s architectural heritage. The RFP stressed the desire for a bold project that had to fit into its environment and include shops and homes. The brief was clear: city hall wanted a team made up of a young architect working with an experienced colleague…

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Street Expansion in an Informal Settlement

Johan Mottelson | Remígio Chilaude

Architects: Johan Mottelson and Remígio Chilaude
Location: Maputo, Mozambique
Area: 200 m2
Year: 2022
Photography: Johan Mottelson

Imurro Wanhuwana is a small-scale public space intervention in the informal settlement of Maxaquene D in Maputo, Mozambique. The project seeks to demonstrate new approaches to street expansions in informal settlements in order to improve access conditions, increase feasibility of investments in infrastructure, support social life in public space and reduce resource consumption of construction.

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Floodable Bridge: A Catalyst for Leisure, Culture, Sports and Educational Activities

Sau Taller d’Arquitectura

Architects: Sau Taller d’Arquitectura
Location: Manlleu, Spain
Year: 2021
Photography: Andrés Flajszer

The main aim of the project is to serve as a catalyst for leisure, culture, sports and educational activities around the Ter River in Manlleu. The design can be explained through three approaches. First, based on the territorial perspective aimed at enhancing the riverbed as a space of interest in landscape terms; second, from the standpoint of urban strategy, to consolidate the green leisure/cultural axis alongside the river; and finally, based on the technical solution adopted, a very targeted action with a low environmental impact.

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Baakenpark: Green Center

Atelier LOIDL

Architects: Atelier LOIDL
Location: HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany
Area: 1,6 ha
Year: 2019

The Baakenpark is the green center of the eastern HafenCity. The 1.6 hectare peninsula, artificially created with sand from the Elbe River, is located in the middle of the former harbor basin of Baakenhafen, which is characterized by linear edges, steel banks and stone promenades. With its wild shoreline, green embankments that run right up to the water, and its characteristic topography, the park forms an atmospheric counterpoint to its surroundings: a park that invites visitors to explore and only unfolds when walking through it; a park with a something to offer for all visitors, with lively meeting points, wide meadows and playgrounds, but also with quieter, isolated places.

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