PLATdesign: This site is located in an industrial area of Kita-Kyushu that is one of four areas in Japan designated to promote economic growth. The beauty and richness of the coastal scenery along the Sea of Japan has been lost in exchange for this industrialization, resulting in ruinous pollution. From decades ago however, the city of Kitakyushu has endeavored to regain the former beauty of the sky and sea by a joint effort of citizens, businesses, and municipalities to promote a new environmental city model. In this site the client chose to demolish a portion of their company building, and wanted the new construction convey the attitude of their company of addressing environmental issues while ensuring operational efficiency and improved productivity.
Most of the area in front of the office is a parking lot and car approach, but the goal was to provide more than just this function by creating a front garden that was also a high quality spatial landscape that conveyed the corporate philosophy. Furthermore, by not simply preserving the existing green space but by adding more plantings, this grove of greenery represented the green network relationship of dotting green spaces throughout this industrial zone.
A gentle mound of grass intersected by a natural stone wall hides the cars in parking lot from the field of view, showing a multilayered green expanse beyond that warmly welcomes visitors. The regular segmentation of the parking lot tree grid is relieved of rigidity by the softness of the tree shadows swaying in the wind. The green volume of this space reflects in the façade of the glass entry, showing changes in the seasons as well as encompassing the entire garden in a comfortable space. In addition, the regular order of trees and the landscape elements of lighting and drainage work as a system, efficiently giving order to the site and allowing the parking spaces themselves to become a valuable landscape element.
By creating this simple spatial structure that combines both function and landscape, the result is the welcoming scene of a “garden,” as well as a valuable company symbol.
Landscape Architecture: PLATdesign
Project name : NSE Kitakyushu Technology Center
Completion date : 2011
Location : Fukuoka, Japan
Area : 9500sqm
Designer of Architecture : Nippon Steel Engineering Co.,Ltd.
Client : Nippon Steel Engineering Co.,Ltd.
Photos & text: PLAT