Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has designed a showroom and production facility for a Japanese furniture manufacturer, which features both translucent undulating walls and a simple rectangular roof.
Named Sogokagu Design Lab, the building is located in Mie Prefecture, and contains both a showroom and manufacturing spaces across its two levels. Its plan is broken into two parts, providing an access route through the centre of the site, but both sides are connected by the large corrugated steel roof.
The space was designed as a workshop for a furniture manufacturer who aims to propose a new lifestyle integrated with state-of-the-art technology. The company is strong in the moulding of urethane. In order to respect their merits, they put up a soft structure in which urethane was at the centre.
First, the steel structure was wrapped with urethane foam and covered on both sides with two membranes, which came from an idea of forming a soft and multi-layered exterior like an animal skin. Then ETFE was applied to the outer side to cope with heat, and transparent PVC to the inside with some mesh. For the main structure of steel, the robustness of a living creature was sought, which came into being as a mesh-shaped structural system based on a latticed combination of small parts. In the interior, pieces of plywood, 25-mm-thick, were put together to express a blurred space like a fractus cloud.