Fragile and Delicate Resistance

architectural office  Atelier Bow-Wow, Satokura Architects, Dot Architects, Momoyo Kaijima Lab + Nobutake Sato Lab / University of Tsukuba
project  Village Momonoura, Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan
written by  Krešimir Rogina


Atelier Bow-Wow is one of the most important, most interesting, most vital and most dynamic architectural offices today, due less to results of their activities than to the method with which they approach their assignments. Although it is sometimes hard to define it in those terms because their field of operation is life itself, and its everydayness. It is not that they are not interested in a spectacle, after all, it also forms a part of our environment, but it is not their primary focus. Same can be said about the autonomy of architectural form, which may not be the most appropriate term since it implies an artefact, although their realizations do not lack elegance and charm, but more as side-effect than purpose and intent. Most often, the work becomes independent from its author very early on, embarks on its own journey, but with Bow-Wow it is rarely the case since their architecture is incessantly interweaving with themselves. Their lives are marked by continuous research of the phenomena which might seem ordinary and prosaic, but in fact they express the richness and wonder of life’s complexity. This also applies to their house which may appear manifest-like, but only for a brief moment because inside life happens just the way it should, by fusing and propelling. It is where architectonics becomes a frame for the transformation processes of their rootedness as well as their unpredictability and capriciousness.