panasonic presents sliding nature – a breathing house by torafu architects
all images courtesy of torafu architects




since 2008, panasonic corporation has been participating in milan design week – the world’s biggest and most influential design event – commissioning an international architect or designer on each occasion, to envision an installation that showcases the electronic company’s technological and product developments. 2014 sees torafu architects up to the task. their proposal is a ‘house that breathes’, addressing the relationship between man and nature, tradition and technology. together with panasonic, the japanese firm has created an installation that proposes how our built living environment can more seamlessly become harmonized with nature.


the overall theme of ‘sliding nature’ is to showcase panasonic’s development of ‘active’ and ‘passive’ energy management. in developing the exhibition concept, torafu architects have referenced japanese houses that traditionally employ ‘fusama’ or ‘shoji’ paper sliding doors as the main architectural feature. the implementation of laterally moving walls into the conceived structure allows for light breezes to pass through the interior, and soft light to be dispersed throughout; while the notion of the ‘sliding door’ invites more panoramic views of one’s surrounding scenery. these openings are set to be underlit by LED lighting, which is representative of active energy management, a means of achieving better spatial value by matching lighting to people’s lifestyle. additionally, the portals will assist in closing out the cold and the heat.

torafu architects sliding nature panasonic designboom
corridor installation of panasonic lighting





we have created a house-shaped structure with walls made of sliding panels. as they open, the enclosing boundaries disappear and the inner space integrates with the surrounding environment. we designed a breathing house that establishes a new, dynamic relationship with nature can be created with sliding panels that function both as doors and exterior walls. marking a contrast with massive western architecture, the pure-white sliding doors make the structure seem abstract as they move. with their movement, the ceiling of the structure at the center of the courtyard glows with light, amid the led bulbs placed around it like growing plants and the slow flickering of lights in the cloister, creating an ever-changing panorama. we wanted to create a space in which the private turns public, while integrating with the surroundings. an ever-transforming place with sliding doors opens up a new relationship with the external world.’ – torafu architects


‘sliding nature’ by torafu architects is being shown within the larger annual INTERNI-organized exhibition ‘feeding new ideas for the city, at università degli studi di milano from monday april 7th – 13th, 2014, from 9AM – midnight.