Following the completion of the highly anticipated House of Music building in Budapest, renowned Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto‘s studio, Sou Fujimoto Architects, unveils its latest project, a regional community-based center in Hida, Japan dubbed the “Hida Furukawa Station Eastern Development.” Inspired by its natural mountainous landscapes, the development’s defining feature includes a large grass-covered roof structure in the shape of a bowl. The ceiling arches downwards, allowing visitors to climb upwards from the large circular openings onto the rooftop garden for an obstructed view of the building’s scenic surroundings.
“The development is a vast landscape symbolizing Hida’s past and future, its main plaza taking the shape of a bowl, or vessel, in Japanese called utsuwa,” Sou Fujimoto Architects wrote. “The utsuwa is a shed-like roof over crisscrossing paths, inspired by Hida’s traditional townscapes. It will be a destination that is fun to walk through… The paths continue to the rooftop where people will go, drawn by their vision of the sky.”
The new 21,300 square-meter development will be situated across from the main railway station in the small city and can be entered from any direction. Labeled as “a local collaborative base,” the center will house shops, a spa, exhibition spaces, research facilities for a local university, student accommodation, and an all-weather field. Tall white pillars surround the canopy for structural support, offering a direct view of the interiors from the outside, and several enclosed structures will be scattered around the building.
“Tradition and future, diversity and convergence, individual and group, nature and artifice, exposure and protection, will all come together,” writes the architects. “The Utsuwa is an intimate room, but also a vast mound framing the sky in its changing seasons, with a terrain continuing to the Hida mountains. It will be a stage where activities blend, like instruments in an orchestra of ideas.”
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