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Sou Fujimoto: the architect revolutionising libraries ... and loos

From a washing-up scourer to a pile of crisps, the Japanese architect draws on the most unlikely everyday objects – while testing the idea of privacy with a glass-walled public toilet

A cloud of white blocks leaps from a plinth, hanging in the air like an explosion in a sugar cube factory. Nearby, a great spiral of ribbons swirls across a model landscape, like a whirlwind of noodles caught among the trees. A host of other curious creations fills the basement gallery of Japan House, a new cultural centre on Kensington High Street, west London, from teetering nests of wooden sticks to sheets of scrunched up paper, and what looks like a floppy silver pancake resting on a glass cube.

These are the dreamy visions of Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who approaches the design of his buildings more like a conceptual artist searching for new forms – or a scavenger foraging through a skip.

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