The Yakisugi House by Terunobu Fujimori looks odd enough from a distance, sprouting a little room from its roofline, and striped like a pair of Beetlejuice's pants. Look closer and whoah—the house has been burnt to a crisp. But not by accident. The architect and ten of his friends--including the clients--created the charred cedar cladding themselves, spending an entire day burning 400, eight-meter planks by hand. The idea, according to Fujimori, a professor of architecture in Japan, was to create a house as far removed from the contemporary architecture scene as possible. He definitely succeeded:
His inspiration was the cave art at Lascaux, in southwestern France. The work does bring to mind two trends, one ancient and one trendy: The Japanese, for hundreds of years, have used charred wood as a natural air filter--that's why you can sometimes find pieces of thoroughly charred wood decorating Japanese restaurants. Meanwhile, Maarten Baas, a Dutch designer that actually specializes in off-kilter furniture that Beetlejuice would love, created an entire line for Moooi comprising classically designed furniture that had been charred with a blowtorch then bonded with resin.