‘iron gallery’ by kwas, tokyo, japan all images courtesy kwas

the ‘iron gallery’ is a gallery for antiques and art dealer office in tokyo, japan completed by japanese practice kwas, short for kensuke watanabe architecture studio. entirely sheathed in corrugated and rusted steel, the four-storey structure is wedged onto a narrow plot along a bustling city arterial road. with a footprint of 24.73 square meters and total area of 100 square meters, the construct is bordered on two sides by existing highrises and the chamfered front elevation accentuates the building’s narrow profile. close discussion and collaboration between the architect, contractor and structural engineer allowed the project’s construction to be completed within 47 days. prefabrication off-site including the superstructure before arriving onsite and the units were welded directly to the steel piles with emphasis was placed on sealing voids to ensure watertightness. the maintenance free cor-ten steel will continue to age with time, supporting the antique contents contained inside the galleries.

the facade’s surface was forged creating ribs for extra strength while shadow effects cast by the sun subtly shift the exterior’s appearance. oriented toward the north, visitors see a natural green area through a large vertical window, extending the small spaces with borrowed views of the city.

kwas: iron gallery exterior view

kwas: iron gallery exterior view from narrow side

kwas: iron gallery shade of the ribs on facade

kwas: iron gallery gallery interior

kwas: iron gallery staircase

kwas: iron gallery cor-ten steel appears when opening the window

kwas: iron gallery aerial view

kwas: iron gallery construction of facade panel

kwas: iron gallery facade panels before fixing

kwas: iron gallery  floor plan / levels 0, 1, 2, 3

kwas: iron gallery sections

kwas: iron gallery composition diagram of the building

project info:

location: azabujuban, tokyo use: antique gallery. office site area: 27.33m2 size: steel construction 4 story total: 97.33m2 client: mori building co. ltd contractor: eiger co. ltd, noriaki fujii, koji misaki architect: kwas/kensuke watanabe architecture studio, kensuke watanabe structure: k. nakata & associates, katsuo nakata, takashi takamizawa steel fabrication: tokyo kentetsu, kenji sasaki, shuuji matsushima, masamoto kondo

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