architecture covered with air: Tsukuba technical center


I wish architecture would become invisible. Although it is impossible to obliterate its "form", I intended to conceive a space where architecture quietly hides its presence. Arbitrary forms would obliterate if I design architecture based on its functions and contexts. Then, how can I realize architecture where people feel its presence without feeling its pressure? My idea was to make architecture like air by covering a space with super-thin materials, so that only the gravity disappears.


The company manufacturing zip ties and packing materials planned to build a new warehouse and an integrated office block on the adjacent site. They had initially planned to build a two-story steel office building, but later they commissioned my office to design a suburban-style office with greater comfort. My design started from lifting a cuboid with an 18 m x 18 m square plan off the ground by 1.2 m, in consideration of the heavy traffic of large trucks in the site and the surrounding environment. In order to achieve high environmental efficiency, individual rooms are laid out along the outer perimeters and the under-floor plenum is utilized to accommodate an efficient building equipment system. The 4m-high cuboid with a square plan is divided in two horizontally at the 2 meter-line above the floor. The dividing line constitutes a checker pattern of windows on the facade, which frame the surrounding scenery to show only the sky and the greenery and provide maximum comfort and high environmental performance in the office space located in the center. 

The office space is composed of massive reciprocal beams made of five layers of plywood above 3-meter high wall-columns. Narrow top lights between the beams bring sunlight as if coming down through a forest. It is like a structure made of air. The exterior finish comprises four kinds of tropical wood and aluminum angle bars. I intended to create an impression of being covered with thin layers of light and generate multiple changes according to viewing distance and angles, the weather, and with the passing of time. This architecture, with its exterior facades and the ceiling covered with air, creates a place that is strong and light, with mysterious gravity.   (Hideki Yoshimatsu)



name :Tsukasa chemical industry Tsukuba Technical Center

location :Tsukubamirai, Ibaraki, Japan

client :Tsukasa Chemical Industry Co.,Ltd.

principal use    :Office、Laboratory

design period  :2014.1~2016.3

construction period  :2016.4~2016.11

architect :Hideki Yoshimatsu + archipro architects / Michio Maeda

project architect :Hideki Yoshimatsu, Michio Maeda

structural design :Yamada Noriaki Structural Structural Design Office

:Noriaki Yamada, Masaki Sugimoto

cooperation in equipment design :Yamada machinery office

:Hiroyuki Yamada

lighting design  :BONBORI Lighting Architect & Associates,Inc.

:Masahide Kakudate, Toshio Takeuchi

general contractor :Tokiwa Co., Ltd.

site area :7,966.41m2

building area :353.44m2

total floor area :328.96m2

structure :Wood

issue : SINKENCHIKU 1703 

Award : 2017 JIA architectural award


About | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Sitemap
© 2010 archipro architects. All rights reserved.