MMA Inc, Japan: Wallpaper* Architects Directory 2022
Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual roundup of exciting emerging architecture studios. Today we welcome Japanese MMA Inc to our 2022 roster
Momoko Kudo and her Tokyo-based studio join the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022, our annual list of exciting emerging practices from around the world. Kudo excels in creating beautifully designed spaces with honest materials and extreme attention to detail, and his home in Hasami is a key example.
Who: MMA Inc.
As a child, Momoko Kudo, head of MMA Inc in Tokyo, dreamed of working in theatre. “I spent a large part of my education in Switzerland and my mother took me to see a lot of plays. I really loved the intimacy of the stage,” she says. After five years with MHS Planners, Architects & Engineers, including an extended stint based in Vietnam working on hotel projects, Kudo returned to school and completed a master’s degree at Terunobu Fujimori’s studio at Kogakuin University. She says, “I was really lucky to be able to work with Fujimori. For some reason, I was one of the few people he chose to interview for the degree, and luckily I got a spot.
After graduating, Kudo started MMA Inc in 2016. “I first called my firm Momoko Kudo Architects, but architecture is such a collaborative effort and I didn’t want to take credit for everything. the amazing work that my staff put in, so I changed the name to MMA,” she explains.
A pillar of MMA Inc’s work is the constant search for the perfect material. A love of touch is always apparent, as special attention is given to every surface in all of the studio’s projects. Commercial commissions include work for Issey Miyake and cosmetics brand Three, while the studio also undertakes exhibition design for museums and pop-ups, as well as single-family homes for private clients – including House in Hasami (below).
What: House in Hasami
This small family home in the southern Japanese town of Hasami is the second in what Kudo calls the “Box Series” (the first was completed in 2018). “Boxes” of four different sizes were placed slightly askew in the plan to form the footprint of the house. The client likes to entertain, and the more public spaces such as the kitchen, dining room and living room are kept on the ground floor, while the bedrooms for the family of four are on a more compact and comfortable upper level. compartmentalized. The off-center layout of the “boxes” creates various outdoor spaces, and a large roof (divided into two parts) brings everything together harmoniously.
Inside, a slightly sunken living room lowers the sight lines to the surrounding greenery almost at ground level. This, combined with the floor-to-ceiling windows, creates a sense of space. On the exterior, small but important details, such as a slight rounding of the corners on the otherwise simple vertical cedar planks, matching the rounded foundation and pressed soil around the perimeter of the house, help keep the house clean and to add a contemporary touch, while using simple, unpretentious materials. The slender, vertical, round steel support beams of the roof add another touch of modernity, contrasting beautifully with the vernacular cedar siding.
Why: Directory of Architects 2022
Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual list of promising practices from around the world. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years the project has presented inspiring work with a focus on the residential realm. Now counting more than 500 graduates, the Directory of Architects is back for its 22nd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – twenty young studios from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam with lots of promise, ideas and exciting architecture.