The architects plan is to reconstruct the former Hirozakari Sake Brewery site owned by Nakanojo-machi, Gunma Prefecture, as an event facility. As the owner of Shima springs, Nakanojo-machi has recently been taking an active part in promoting cultural and art events, including the Nakanojo Biennale. The former Hirozakari Sake Brewery site has been used as the center for these events. For this plan, they created designs for the construction of facilities to store and exhibit eleven bird-hunting drums, which are designated by Gunma Prefecture as important tangible folk cultural properties, along with designs for the renovation of the existing warehouse and washroom.
In order to use the former sake brewery site as an event facility, Nakanojo-machi purchased the land and buildings of the brewery in 2007. However, as the existing buildings were very dilapidated, it was difficult to use all the buildings in their original state. So, the architects decided to demolish these buildings, except for the office building (steel structure), the storage room (stone structure) and the warehouse (wooden structure), which are well maintained and also have attractive features as architectural spaces. After the demolition, they created a public space, including a storage/exhibition room and a garden, at the former brewery site. They also planned to make positive use of the spaces between buildings that were created through the sequences of demolition and construction, and used those spaces for approaches to the buildings and open-air exhibition spaces.
Architectural methods aimed at creating an entirely different world from the atmosphere within the former sake brewery until now were inconsistent with their design policy. At the same time, however, methods that only used the atmosphere of the existing buildings to create neatly organized structures felt completely uninteresting. So, the architects decided to apply various methods depending on the use and location of individual buildings, in accordance with a loosely formulated design policy of slightly distorting the current space.
By its nature, the newly constructed storage/exhibition room does not have any openings on its exterior walls other than those required for the transportation of drums. Instead of creating openings, they built a tunnel-like passage that runs through the building so that visitors can experience the interior space. This passage is lined on both sides with double-strength glass panels (maximum height: 4.5 m) that are supported by upper and lower frames. The two glass screens formed by these panels are not perfectly parallel with each other but are slightly tilted so that they appear to expand into the square and the watercourse outside. Due to this design, these glass screens repeatedly reflect each other, and the multi-layered images created inside the passage have a strong visual impact. The exterior appearance of the building covered with aluminum-zinc alloy-coated steel plates reminds us of boarded walls. Despite its modern style with no eaves or gables, the building creates a traditional Japanese atmosphere that matches the old warehouse, and other existing buildings.
The architects renovated the old warehouse into an exhibition room. However, unlike ordinary exhibition rooms, the concrete floor of the room is slightly tilted (1.8o). Deprived of a level floor, which is taken for granted in our world, the exhibition room is designed to inspire artists to produce and exhibit art works in creative ways. They hope that the room will serve the purposes of those artists that use it in ways far beyond our imagination.
The washroom, which is located at the bottom of an old smoke stack, is equipped with a stainless steel mirror panel that measures 6 m in width by 2 m in height. A visitor sitting on the toilet will see his or her own body reflected in the mirror. The upper half of the mirror panel is bent with a curvature of r = 5 m; consequently, the mirror presents a distorted image of the visitor’s upper torso. Since it is already planned for artists to draw paintings at the bottom of the old smoke stack, the architects hope they will be able to use the nature of the mirror panel so as to create a washroom that provides surprise and pleasure to visitors.
The outside area is covered with as much lawn as much as possible. However, they also took great care to clear the way for the transportation of drums and to promote the growth of healthy grass. Covering the ground with lawn not only helps create a pleasant environment, but also prevents heat radiation from the ground and minimizes temperature increases around the warehouse. Fifty maintenance-free LED lights are embedded in the ground along the watercourse. When the sun sets, these lights starts to blink on and off in pale colors, creating a beautiful nightscape.Location: Gunma, Japan Grand Design(=Credit) : TYRANT KUNIHIKO MATSUBA + N-LLC (Kunihiko Matsuba + Ksuke Fukushima) Project Name : Hirozakari Sake Brewery
Principal use : Exhibition Room
Site area : 1184.14m2
Building area / Total floor area
Storage /Exhibition room : 71.4m2
Exhibition room(old warehouse) : 82.72m2
Storage /Exhibition room: steel structure
Exhibition room(old warehouse): stone structure
Washroom: wooden structure
Design period: 2010.1-2010.5
Construction period: 2010.7-2011.3
wall and roof : aluminum-zinc alloy-coated steel plates
Opening: steel door、fixed clear glass t12+12mm
wall and Ceiling: linden plywood t12mm＋wood stain finish
Floor: exposed concrete trowel finish
Exhibition room(old warehouse)
Exterior:existing wall and roof
Opening: fixed clear glass t6mm
Wall: existing wall＋latex paint finish
Floor: exposed concrete trowel finish Washroom
Wall: existing wall and ceiling＋latex paint finish、stainless mirror plate t1.5mm
Ceiling: existing ceiling ＋latex paint finish
Floor: exposed concrete trowel finish
Storage/Exhibition room , Landscape: TYRANT KUNIHIKO MATSUBA + N-LLC (Kunihiko Matsuba + Ksuke Fukushima)
Exhibition room (old warehouse): TYRANT KUNIHIKO MATSUBA (Kunihiko Matsuba)
Washroom: TYRANT KUNIHIKO MATSUBA (Kunihiko Matsuba)
Structure Design: Tatsumi Terado Structural Studio (Tatsumi Terado)
Photo Copyright: Tomoki Hirokawa