Akihisa Hirata architecture office

Bloomberg Pavilion, Musée d'art contemporain de Tokyo, 2011-2012

A nine-metre-high art gallery located opposite the entrance to Tokyo’s Contemporary Art Museum, the small Bloomberg Pavilion measures 23.4 m2 and was designed by Akihisa Hirata in partnership with the engineering office Oak Structural Design. The architect was directly inspired by trees, their growth principle as much as their symbolic form offering shade, quietude and protection. The pavilion clearly contrasts two structures: a central one with a triangular plan (the exhibition space), and a peripheral one unfolding an undulating roof in folded steel, obtained by combining two types of triangles, isosceles and equilateral. Comparable to branches with complex and irregular forms offering shelter, the roof’s hyplane structure is in fact for Hirata a reference to the natural movements of plants that are capable of distorting themselves to receive a maximum of light. In the same way here, the folded triangles capture the sunlight throughout the day so as to enable a better distribution of light; their weightlessness (1.6 mm thick) allows the structure to move under the effect of wind, as a real tree would.

Nadine Labedade

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