Shōji is the native term for the traditional sliding paper doors, windows and room dividers in classical Japanese architecture. They are representative of a philosophy of flowing space whilst ensuring a sense of harmony. Inhabitants can leave a room open to all or shut it off completely as they desire, all thanks to these sliding paper doors.
Blurring the boundary between indoors and out: over 9,000 km away from Japan this concept is finding a new home in a newly-built house in the Austrian Alps. Here, the doors of the internal courtyard can be opened – their sliding wooden elements echoing the surrounding landscape – to provide a playroom, a garden and a refuge all at once. The flexibility of the Shōji-inspired sliding elements enable both complete isolation and total openness. Amongst all of this there is still plenty of room to play – the inhabitants have 10 complete sliding elements to switch around as they see fit.
“With his work, an architect builds relationships. Relationships to the location, to the environment, to the task; most importantly to the people with whom and for whom he builds.”