Architects continue to use wood in new and unexpected ways, integrating it into both interiors and exteriors as far more than just framing or decorative elements. This example by Kengo Kuma might be one of the most unexpected yet: a complex wooden lattice reminiscent of a basket, added to the exterior of a dessert shop in Japan.
The architect wanted to create the feel of a forest in the middle of the busy city with the interwoven wooden slats. Though the effect may be thoroughly modern, the technique used to create it is an ancient Japanese handicraft passed down between woodworkers and artisans called ‘Jiigokugumi.’ This method joins the slats without the use of glue or nails.
The latticework continues into the interior of the shop, set off by dark-painted walls and complemented by geometric wooden tabletops. While the screen certainly makes a big visual statement, it also serves the practical purpose of providing a little privacy and shade from the sun.