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Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center

In the corner premise of just 326 sqm across Kaminari-mon Gate, the building was required to accommodate plural programs such as tourist information center, conference room, multi-purpose hall and an exhibition space.

Courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates – Photography: Takeshi Yamagishi

The center extends Asakusa’s lively neighborhood vertically and piles up roofs that wrap different activities underneath, creating a “new section” which had not existed in conventional layered architecture. Equipment is stored in the diagonally shaped spaces born between the roof and the floor, and by this treatment, we could secure large air volume despite its just average height for high-end medium-rise buildings.

Courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates – Photography: Takeshi Yamagishi

Furthermore, the roofs not only divide the structure into 8 one-storied houses but also determine the role of each floor. The first and second floor has an atrium and in-door stairs, creating a sequence of which you can feel the slope of the two roofs. On the 6th floor, taking advantage of the slanted roof, we were able to set up a terraced floor with which the entire room can function as a theater. As angles of the roofs inclined toward Kaminari-mon and the heights from the ground vary from floor to floor, each floor relates differently to the outside, giving a unique character to each space.

Courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates – Photography: Takeshi Yamagishi

Project Info
Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Design Team: Kengo Kuma, Teppei Fujiwara, Masafumi Harigai, Okayama Naoki, Kiyoaki Takeda, Masaru Shuku, Erina Kuryu, Hiroaki Saito
Area: 234.13 sqm
Year: 2012
Type: Cultural Center
Photographs: Takeshi Yamagishi

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