Forest Gathering: A Modern Meeting Space

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Project Highlights

Official project name: Daiwa House Group MIRAI KACHI KYOSO Center “Kotokurie”
Location: Nara, Japan

Client: Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd
Architects: Tetsuo Kobori Architects, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd, Fujita Corporation

Design Team:
Tetsuo Kobori Architects: Tetsuo Kobori, Shun Soda, Yusuke Nakanishi, Rumi Maejima, Kazuya Iida, Takashi Seki
Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.: Junya Ono, Mayuko Adachi
Fujita Corporation: Mitsuhiro Kono, Shinya Fujii, Yoichiro Ishikawa, Shunsuke Koyama, Aki Yamanouchi

Disaster Management: Fujita Corporation
Lighting: Sawada Lighting Design & Analysis Inc.
Landscape Design: Nikken Sekkei Ltd

Furniture: DesignArc Co., Ltd.
Biophilic Design: Pasona Panasonic Business Service Co., Ltd.
Display and Information Media: TOPPAN INC.
Learningscape: Nobuyuki Ueda

Workshop: Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts
Workshop Research: Shiro Yoshida, Koji Sugimoto
Graphic Recording: Glagrid Inc.
Construction: Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.

Principal Use: Laboratory with Meeting Hall
Structure: Steel Frame
Completion: 2021
Photo: Tomoyuki Kusunose

In the heart of Nara, Japan, emerges a groundbreaking architectural marvel that seamlessly blends nature, culture, and innovation. MORI no KAISHO, aptly translated as “Meeting Place of Forest,” stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts of visionary architects Tetsuo Kobori Architects, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd., and Fujita Corporation. This architectural gem has recently been honored with the prestigious Best of Best award in the Institutional Architecture category at the esteemed Architecture MasterPrize (AMP) 2023.

Crafting a Kaisho for the Modern Era: The Concept

At its core, MORI no KAISHO symbolizes far more than just a physical structure; it embodies the essence of community, exchange, and continuity. Conceived as a response to the evolving needs of a dynamic society, this project began with a profound exploration of the significance of communal spaces in a rapidly changing world. Through extensive workshops involving stakeholders from across the Daiwa House Group, the design team distilled a powerful vision: to create a contemporary kaisho, a place where individuals can convene, collaborate, and draw inspiration from one another.

Echoes of History: Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future

Nestled within the ancient capital of Japan, MORI no KAISHO is steeped in history, its very foundations echoing the memories of civilizations past. Archaeological excavations preceding its construction revealed traces of settlements dating back over 1,300 years, serving as a poignant reminder of the enduring nature of human connection. In a poignant tribute to this rich heritage, the architects incorporated elements of the excavated soil into the building’s exterior, seamlessly melding past and present.

Harmony in Design: Wind, Sun, and Water

Spanning a sprawling 230 meters, MORI no KAISHO is meticulously divided into three distinct realms: wind, sun, and water. Each section of the building is thoughtfully curated to foster a sense of interconnectedness and harmony among its occupants. The Sun Hall, bathed in natural light and capable of accommodating 500 individuals, serves as a beacon of openness and possibility. Meanwhile, the Wind Patio provides a serene backdrop for shared meals and conversation, while the Water Salon offers a space for reflection and learning, steeped in the founder’s timeless philosophy.

A Nexus of Innovation and Tradition

Beyond its architectural grandeur, MORI no KAISHO is envisioned as a crucible for innovation and growth. Its fluid, interconnected spaces encourage organic interaction and collaboration, fostering an environment where ideas can flourish and boundaries can be transcended. From state-of-the-art training facilities to intimate living quarters, every aspect of this remarkable structure is designed to inspire, educate, and empower.

Looking Toward the Future

As MORI no KAISHO takes its place among the architectural pantheon, its legacy is just beginning to unfold. More than a mere building, it represents a beacon of hope and possibility, a testament to the enduring power of human connection and ingenuity. With its doors open to all who seek knowledge, inspiration, and community, it stands as a living testament to the potential of architecture to shape a brighter tomorrow.

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