As Intentionallies with S.Ohori and S.Tei
Art Laboratory ROCKET

The site background; The existing seventy-year old apartment building of reinforced concrete was built after the Grate Earthquake 1923, as a earthquake-proof modern apartment building. Today the building has become too old to use. This is why the clients mentioned that the interior design probably last only three years or so. The site is located along Omotesando Avenue, which is one of the most fashionable avenues of Tokyo. One can say that the existence of this apartment building has made the place more fashionable over a long period of time. It is because this apartment is one of the best work of Modern Architect which still preserves its atmosphere and beauty throughout its long history.

The function background;

         Usually an art gallery is a neutral while space, as it is supposed to allow for any artist's work. But because of the homogeneity of the art gallery artists are not given free choice of the character of 'space' for their shows.  And the gallery space is usually isolated from the outside, to protect art works from the sunlight. As the result theres conditions have created the typology of art gallery as an uneasy, isolated white space.

          In concerting a Japanese-style room of the apartment, I considered the following factors.

         The existing concrete wall had been cast using formwork of seventy-year old wood panels. The existing plastered celling which was damaged yet preserved, is shaved and repainted white to visually trace the memory of the wall. And in order to provide freedom of the choice of gallery and the layout of exhibition, I use unpainted LVL panels which can be nailed anywhere and do not need paint for restoration.

         By putting a 'sofa-wall' at the existing window along the avenue, the gallery is completely open to the avenue  while avoiding the direct sunlight on artworks. And I was able to provide two set of sofas for relaxation and to visually include the front yard and Omotesando Avenue inside the narrow gallery.  At the same time exhibitions and activities of the gallery are actually put on display to invite people inside the gallery and the building, while emphasizing a clear distinction between the interior and the exterior.

        The success of this gallery and the building have resulted in prolonging the life of the gallery and the building itself.