Naturally Artificial. Fredrik Hellberg CFVH
The kimono is worn by the Guardian of the Tower of the Folding Stones as he performs his morning ritual. The motifs on the kimono show the embassy from all its aspects - as the plan of the embassy and its ornamentation unravels across the folds of the silk. The plan seen on the rear of the kimono is drawn from the principles of Japanese manga art and the designs of imperial villas, such as Katsura in Kyoto - the various buildings work together to form a narrative of spaces. The background motif on the kimono depicts Regent’s Park, where the new embassy is located. The lining of the garment opens up to reveal the Tower of the Folding Stones - the office of the Japanese Ambassador, which is again revealed in plan on the back of the kimono. Processional pathways weave across the silk, binding buildings with manga cells and patterns with details, pulling us ever more lucidly into new ornamental narratives.
Blue Print Magazine
Issue 294 September 2010
Winner of the AA’s Nicholas Pozner Prize for
Best Single Drawing of the year, Hellberg’s
design for a Japanese Embassy is printed on
a manga-graphic kimono, which shows the
building from all its aspects. Th e lining of
the garment open up to reveal the Tower of
the Folding Stones - the offi ce of the Japanese
Ambassador - which, like the Embassy building,
is revealed in plan on the back of the kimono.
Th e project was displayed in Unit 13’s
small funeral marble-like space, which had
the theme of Th e Reformed Grammar of Ornament.
While one never quite gets a sense
of spatial organisation between the gorgeous
surfaces, nonetheless it was the best display
of intellectual and technical trajectory at the