Sliding Nature by Torafu Architects @ Salone Milan 2014

Sliding Nature by Torafu Architects @ Salone Milan 2014

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At the center of the Cortile della Farmacia, Torafu Architects studio created a structure that evokes the quintessential features of a traditional home, delimited by large sliding doors.

Panasonic presents its installation, Sliding Nature, designed by Japanese firm Torafu Architects, taking on the theme of the relationship between nature and man, between tradition and technology.

Panasonic’s project is being presented as part of the Interni Magazine – “Feeding new ideas for the City” exhibition at the University of Milan


It is inspired by a classic concept in Japanese architecture, through the use of characteristic sliding doors made from either paper or fabric called fusuma or shoji, that wants to establish distinctive spaces as well as a harmonious relationship between the interior and the exterior of the home.

Torafu Architects’ concept allows many different perspectives projected towards charming panoramas, but also supports the pleasant flow of air, like lowering lighting to one’s liking.

The doors, painted in pure white, almost render this building abstract, as if representing the primordial idea of the home; a building with evanescent outlines in stark contrast with its backdrop of medieval architecture.

Sliding Nature is a home that “breathes” and wants to establish a new and dynamic relationship with nature, examining new possibilities in creating flexible spaces and different lifestyles by using sliding doors, like the opportunity to create different atmospheres using diverse inflections of light.




Upon slowly opening of the doors, the home’s ceiling lights up and the interior of the home talks with the surrounding environment composed of LEDs, which resemble plants spread out in a field, and the flickering of the lights beneath the portico, seeming to want to replicate the rhythm of a gentle sigh, creating an ever-changing scene.

With this project, Panasonic wants to express its own commitment to design homes that are able to highlight the beauty of nature, while pursuing goals of energy efficiency by utilizing low-power electronics and technology in relation to renewable energy sources.

A space in which the private becomes public; a home that opens up to the city; a place in continuing transformation that, through sliding doors, encourages a new relationship with nature.



Concept Notes

In the Japanese architectural tradition dwellings are harmoniously integrated with the environment in such a way as to offer views, natural light and ventilation, thanks to sliding doors called fusuma or shoji.

Based on this model, the installation proposes a structure that evokes the form of a traditional house, to which a series of sliding doors have been applied to define its contours.

When the doors are opened the interior space is free of walls, and interacts with the environment.

The house breathes and establishes a new and dynamic relationship with nature, utilizing artificial energy only when necessary.

The sliding doors painted in pure white make the structure seem almost abstract, in contrast with the massive forms of occidental architecture.

When the doors are opened the ceiling of the house lights up and establishes a dialogue with the LED lamps scattered on the lawn, and with the intermittent glow of the lamps under the portico.


About Torafu Architects

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The practice TORAFU ARCHITECTS was established in Tokyo in 2004 by the Japanese architects Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamuro.

Koichi Suzuno was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1973 and graduated at Tokyo University of Science and Yokohama National University;

Shinya Kamuro was born in Shimane Prefecture in 1974 and graduated in Meiji University.

The duo has employed architectural thinking to create a wide range of work, including architectural designs, shop interior designs, spatial designs for exhibitions, product designs, spatial installations, stage arts and filmmaking. For every project, they place importance on leaving a blank space, in which the receiver (audience) can take part.

Torafu Architects made its debut with Template in Claska, a project that renovated a decrepit hotel in Meguro, Tokyo (2004).

Holes in the shapes of hotel items and the typical belongings of a traveler were cut in the wall plates as templates, representing a new relationship between things and an architectural space.

In 2007, the unit designed the interior and exterior of Nike 1Love, a special popup shop that sold only Nike’s Air Force 1 shoes in a backstreet of Harajuku (Tokyo) for one year.

In 2008 House in Kohoku (Yokohama), featuring a roof with protruding portions that resemble acorn shells, was completed.

In 2010 they released Airvase, a container of paper perforated in such way that it can be stretched into a variety of shapes and stand on its own, as if enfolding air.

It received several awards, including the Red Dot Award’s Best of the Best of Product Design in 2012.

In 2011 Torafu Architects created a huge table of 50m in length entitled Gulliver Table; in the same year their Light Loom, presented at the Milano Salone, created a magical space in which the audience lost the physical sense of a border between fiction and reality.

The work received the Grand Prize at the Elita Design Awards.

Torafu’s publications include Airvase book and Torafu architects 2004-2011: Idea + Process (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha Co., Ltd., 2011) and the illustrated book Torafu’s Small City Planning (Heibonsha Limited, 2012).


About The “Università degli Studi” of Milan

The “Università degli Studi” of Milan

Founded in 1924, the Università degli Studi of Milan is one of the youngest of the major Italian universities, though at its birth it merged institutions with over two centuries of history.

One of the leading Italian universities in terms of scientific productivity, it is the only one in Italy to be part of LERU, the League of European Research Universities.



About Interni “Feeding the City”


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The new Exhibition-Event of INTERNI (the 17th) sets out to introduce and develop the themes of Expo Milan 2015, which will open in May 2015.

As usual, INTERNI has gathered, in the magnificent setting of the Università degli Studi of Milan, the original contributions of internationally acclaimed designers and companies of reference in the field of innovation and research, transforming the exhibition site into a creative and intellectual workshop in the open air, in which to develop proposals for the city of the future, with a particular focus on the subject matter of the Expo.

Architects, designers and artists have been asked to create and build temporary installations that illustrate their interpretation of the theme of Expo 2015 “Feed the Planet, Energy for Life,” in a metaphorical and multidisciplinary approach.

The relationship between human beings and Mother Earth, the relationship between natural materials and artificial construction, the links between technological innovation and sustainability are just some of the major themes addressed by the designers, together with corporate partners.

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