“Intimacy; I want to create intimacy between architecture and people. We live in an environment surrounded by buildings and walls. To accept this fact and to live with it with a positive attitude, I feel that ‘intimacy’ becomes the only factor and the solution.
The hollow embraces; softy and gently, like a kangaroo’s pouch. It embraces the light from the top and glows in the early morning, in the midst of the day. The reflected light enters each room with varied expressions giving characters to each space. Sitting in it and lying in it, the dwellers hopefully form an affectionate relationship with the hollow, like exchanging bodily conversations. This is the ‘intimacy’ I hope to create between architecture and people.”
principal use : gallery
structure : timber
structure site area : 268.47sqm
total floor area : 148.55sqm
building site : Nagano
completion date : 2007.04
“We wanted to design a gallery that allows the visitors to fall in love with the paintings. ‘Falling in love’ in this instance means; to feel a special bond with them, to empathise with them, and to feel the need to be with them.
I found that usually in a gallery, the paintings are hung in a bland white cubic box. In order to create an environment for intimacy between the viewer and the object, where the viewer is able to face the paintings one by one, we’ve divided the gallery into small continuous rooms. However, many rooms meant many walls taking up a lot of floor space. We’ve resolved this problem by repetitive wall structure using laminated timber, and reduced the wall depth down to 3cm. When the walls as thin as 3cm, the visitors no longer have the feeling of going into each rooms but more like passing through a curtain or shoji screens.”
principal use : housing
structure: partially steel
structure site area : 770.22sqm
total floor area : 684.86sqm
building site : Tokyo
structure design: Structural Design Office Oak Inc.
contractor: Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd.
“Located in Ebisu, Tokyo, Bird Park is an apartment where people and birds can live in total harmony. We believe that the pleasure of living with nature can be communicated through architecture, and by living face to face with nature can raise the awareness of sustainable living in each individual. Architecture is usually seen to be concerned only with humans, but by expanding the target to plants and animals, we thought it could familiarise more people to architecture. It is an apartment sympathetic to both human and to the environment.
The site is located in the very central district of Tokyo surrounded by trees over 20m high. We felt that such greenery was a precious asset to a crowded city like Tokyo, and wanted to preserve this forest – to build with it rather than to build on it.
We began the process by measuring the shape and the location of each and every tree with a laser pointer and created a three dimensional computer model from the collected information. Then we consulted a tree doctor and discussed how we could build without damaging the roots.
The ‘huts’ were constructed according to the location of the branches, leaving enough room for the trees to sway in the case of tropical rainstorm. Towards the top of the building, we located small birdhouses echoing the shapes of the ‘huts’.
Living with the forest; to be able to smell the flowers, to hear the leaves blowing in the wind, and to be able to listen to the birds sing. Bird Park became a place where people and nature can form a close and intimate relationship with each other, and by forming such relationship, I hope to enhance the quality of life in each individual.”