Goethe House, Tokyo, 1998

This project designed for the Shinkenchiku-Sha competition in Tokyo explores the principle of “putting the process into movement”, which is so characteristic of IaN+’s approach. Here, the reference to Goethe is not to him as a romantic artist, but rather as the personification of the idea of metamorphosis itself (in reference to his writings on the metamorphosis of plants). The starting point for IaN+ was therefore formally considering the space of the house as a space of transformation. The project is (re)defined to the rhythm of its occupations; the house is made of a series of sections that slide one against the other, creating an infinite number of possible configurations. Traditional bearings – floors, walls or façades – are eliminated in favor of the sensory journey alone, within a system in movement that knows only time and the geometry of surfaces. On this subject, IaN+ mentions physics, in which “what is described and scientifically verified is not the current form, but the transformation of the form.” The Goethe House thus appears as a quest for an ideal architecture, one in which it is itself becoming a force field, like the human body, constantly rebalancing the relation between the forms that compose it.

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