klein dytham architecture: koban
original content
mar 22, 2012
klein dytham architecture: koban

‘koban police box’ klein dytham architecture, kumamoto, japan

image © kouichi torimura
all images courtesy of
klein dytham architecture

tokyo-based practice klein dytham architecture have recently completed the ‘koban police box’, a police station for
the neighborhood of kumamoto, located on the southernmost island of japan. positioned near a new railway stop,
this small establishment serves as a local landmark while projecting a friendly image to citizens. a ribbon of perforated steel plate
caps the top edge of the building, accentuating its tear-dropped footprint. the inward facing surface is painted with
a pastel rainbow gradation which reveals bursts of color through the circular openings as viewers move within the area
between the adjacent taxi stands, tram line and neighboring buildings.

the whimsical graphic wraps around the structure, casting subtle shadows as the sun passes through the holes to dapple the
surrounding pavement. the roof cantilevers 3 meters to create a canopy to shelter a patrol car, serving to screen from rainy weather.
the pragmatic and functional interior is wrapped with charcoal gray concrete walls, visually receding and letting the playful volume
above to stand out.

main entry
image © kouichi torimura

view from the tramline
image © kouichi torimura

view from the parking lot
image © kouichi torimura

rear of building and porte cochère
image © kouichi torimura

3 meter cantilever shelters a patrol car from weather conditions
image © kouichi torimura

detail of perforated steel ribbon
image © kouichi torimura

aerial view reveals the pigmentation of the inner surface
image © kouichi torimura




project info:

location: kasuga kumamoto-shi kumamoto
principal use: police box 
client: kumamoto prefectural police headquarters
architects: klein dytham architecture, astrid klein, mark dytham, yukinari hisayama, makiko okano
structural engineer: structured environment ltd., alan burden, yutaka kaneko
m&e engineer: junji tanaka m&e office, junji tanaka, shigemori matsumoto
general contractor: oda kensetsu, kazuhiro iwanaga
total floor area: 143.62m2
design period: feb. 2010 – sep. 2010
construction period: nov. 2010 – mar. 2011
structure: rc structure
story: 2 stories above the ground
leading materials: 1f external wall: polyurethane enamel paint
2f external steel fence and 2f external wall: fluororesin enamel paint
soffit: emulsion paint
interior floor: porcelain tile, pvc sheet, wooden floor
interior wall: emulsion paint, wallpaper
interior ceiling: decorated gypsum-board
exterior floor: permeability flat plate, permeability asphalt
plantings: zelkova, crape myrtle

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