Junya Ishigami

Kanagawa Institute of Technology - KAIT Workshop, 2005-2011

The workshop of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology is the first building realised by junya.ishigami+associates. This large street-level edifice is impressively light: an uninterrupted glass façade encloses clusters of white columns, which one distinguishes through the reflection of the surrounding trees. If metaphors involving nature seem obvious – Ishigami mentions forests or starry skies – it is thanks to the structural optimisation driving architecture towards its material limits. The apparent simplicity of the whole, the irregular dispersal of the 305 columns, their different orientations and their extreme slenderness (between 16 and 60 mm) are made possible thanks to a complex isostatic construction system, designed in partnership with engineer Yasutaka Konishi. This ethereal architecture is only defined by the punctuations of the columns which, by playing on density, leave a few pockets of empty space; in this apparent lack of differentiation, the architecture is defined through its emerging uses, as people move around and the furniture and plants are regrouped or permutated.

Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou

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