A new library and community center in Nasushiobara by the Japanese architecture studio of Mari Ito, UAo, takes its cues from forests
(10 Apr 2021) The city of Nasushiobara has just got a new library and community centre courtesy of the dynamic Japanese architecture studio of Mari Ito, UAo. A geometric composition out of glass, metal and timber, the building feels at once modern and at home in its wider context – as its design, explains the architect, has been inspired by forests, which are ‘an important part of the city’s identity.’
A glass enclosure wrapping around the building creates a semi-transparent border, which allows glimpses through to what’s happening inside (like peeking through trees) and keeps climatic conditions safe and comfortable for books and people. At the same time, the openness, which continues internally supported by tall ceilings and large, flowing interiors, is accentuated by the large roof canopy that covers the whole structure. Its geometric folds and angles bring to mind an abstracted forest canopy, under which life unfolds.
The fairly large scale structure (at a total floor area of some 5,000 sq m) has been organised around, what its creator calls, ‘forest pockets’. ‘When we step into a forest, we sense the subtle yet constant changes in season, weather, and plant and animal life, absorbing these transformations in multiple emotionally powerful ways,’ say the architects. ‘Similarly, as visitors walk freely through the library, they experience layers of subtle changes unfolding across softly defined borders, from the aphorisms and other exhibits displayed at various locations in the building to the activities and other human-caused transformations taking place.’
Wallpaper has the full illustrated article here.