NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard
 

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

a team comprising architecture firm NIKKEN SEKKEI and design agency takt project has completed a community hub in amakusa, a city in japan’s kumamoto prefecture. as amakusa does not have a railway station, the architects sought to design a similar type of building that opens up to the public. the project is named ‘KOKORASU’, which is a combination of the japanese words: KOKO+KORASU+SU. KOKO means ‘here’, KORASU means ‘come in’, and SU means ‘nest’.

nikken sekkei community hub
all images by takumi ota

 

 

the building contains three public facilities, a library, a health center, and a hall, which all face an external courtyard. this green space has been positioned so that indoor activities can continue outdoors. part of the courtyard is gradually elevated, connecting it with the library on the second floor. ‘our design intention was to create very interesting experiences and interactions among users of the various public facilities through the placement of the curved shaped building surrounding the courtyard space,’ explains wataru tanaka, architect, associate at NIKKEN SEKKEI.

nikken sekkei community hub

 

 

the buildingʼs roof is formed by four dynamically curved surfaces made from local timber. an opening where the curved roof planes overlap allows natural daylight and ventilation to enter. the canopy provides large open spaces for the various programs that take place on site. the shape of the roof also inspired the facility’s logo (shown in the gallery below), which was designed by takt project.

nikken sekkei community hub

 

 

takt project also designed the furniture, which highlights the existence of the outdoor space. ‘the design of the book shelves, for example, creates strong, dynamic horizontal lines flowing inside the interior spaces, and they are limited in height so as not to block visual contact between the library and the surrounding natural environment,’ explains takt project. ‘furniture is placed at the large open windows facing the courtyard, so people can be more relaxed while reading and can enjoy the natural atmosphere of the courtyard.’

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

NIKKEN SEKKEI articulates welcoming community hub in japan around external courtyard

 

 

project info:

 

name: amakusa complex ‘KOKORASU’
location: jo-nan machi 4-15, amakusa city, kumamoto, japan
function: library, health and welfare center, community center
completed: march 2020
structure: RC, steel, timber
floor: 2 floor above ground
site area: 20,115.18 sqm
building area: 4,605.10 sqm
total floor area: 5,452.87 sqm
client: amakusa city
architects: NIKKEN SEKKEI
design team: wataru tanaka / NIKKEN SEKKEI + takt project
photography: takumi ota

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