KAT-Ohno, Tokyo by Christoph Vogl

Christoph Vogl‘s KAT-Ohno won an international competition. Project description:
The development site is surrounded by four office buildings, which will be given a consistent appearance by refurbishment of new cladding systems and upgrading to meet modern standards. The master plan includes an extension of a new forum to provide flexible spaces for training seminars, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings etc. which cheungvogl’s design proposal is chosen as the winner for the invited competition.

Plato defined ‘symposium’ as a ‘philosophical dialogue, dealing with love and the vision of absolute beauty’. What if the new place of symposium is less about mass and structure, less visible and less defined. What if it is a place where speakers and audience can have spontaneous intellectual dialogue in one space? Can spontaneity exists without any preconceived boundaries – where the body can move, speak and think freely.
Moving away from the everyday conventional ‘meeting rooms’ – The world of KAT-Ohno is a place where architecture is reduced.

Less. So more can happen.

Less mass. Below Roof
One big volume with 900sqm of empty space. The volume of air is lifted up above the ground, creating a permeable open sheltered space for the public on the ground floor. This shaded auditorium becomes an outdoor meeting room, creating potentials for creative and communicative togetherness during lunch breaks, in between meetings or exhibitions. It simplifies the connections between people and places. It cultivates the inclusion of individuals to share food, drinks, thoughts and conversations. Breaking the invisible walls between men to embrace diversity in humanity.

Less visible. Volume
The primary volume is a neutral white space, which is visually disconnected from the outside to avoid any unwanted visual obstructions or changing quality of natural light. The white rooms act as backdrops for a variety of events such as presentations, exhibitions, film screenings etc. to become the focus. Here, architecture seamlessly integrates into the environment to enable endless possibilities to happen; collecting opinions and engaging thoughts within these unobstructed white rooms.

Less defined. Structure
Simple structural grid allows movable walls to act as divisions between rooms, enabling more flexibility to play with smaller volumes inside the big white room. Flexibility of forms and configurations can easily be unfolded to accommodate both formal or playful scenarios. This ever-changing quality and the potential to ‘renew, revive and rebirth’ is what makes KAT-Ohno a living architecture.

Less-ness. Above Roof
Architecture is pared down to simply having a roof above and below the body. Through the atrium on the ground floor, the public can freely access the roof terrace to discover a quite, contemplative space defined by the cityscape. From the ground, the white volume is seen as an invisible layer, a seamless extension to the current situation – a timeless non-space.



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