WZ bldg.

photo Toshiyuki Yano (Nacasa & Partners Inc.,)

WZ bldg.

Shop/Office for rent
Building renovation

The building as a topography

This is a plan for the renovation of a building and its extension in the central area of Oita City. The site faces two streets: the north arcade street and the south back street. The facades of the first and second floors of the four-story building face the arcade street, and the four-story facade is visible from the street behind the building, across the extension space. In the extension space, a single-story extension building and a garden were created across the path that connects the two streets. The path seeks to reassess the value of the stagnant back street by changing the flow of people.

Since both the existing and extension buildings will have offices or stores as tenants, I planed mainly the overall section and the relationship between the common areas and tenant spaces. The entire building had to be divided into about 20 spaces. I wanted to create a different impression for each person who experiences the building by switching between scenes of activities in each space by walking through the common areas and depending on the combination of these scenes.

Therefore, I created a “frame” as a dividing wall to show the activities within the divided spaces side by side. Each frame is colored differently so that people can be aware of the transition from one scene to another. In addition, the opening height was adjusted to shift the line of sight between the people walking in the public space and the people working in the tenant. This frame also appears on the façade facing the arcade street, cutting out the activities within each tenant. In addition, the frame is repeated on the ceiling, creating a space for plumbing and visualizing the existing structure by creating a frame away from the structure.

Thinking of the existing building structure itself as a small hill or rising ground, and viewing the building as the stock of the city and the topography of the city, beyond private ownership, opens up possibilities. In this project, we have created the following elements: a path and garden on the first floor, a terrace facing the arcade and a common space to visually connect the street on the second floor; a service space between the tenants and a lounge space with concrete benches on the third floor ; and a roof terrace on the fourth floor. These are difficult to realize in a new building of this size because of making occupation area of the building smaller. It is because the building finished its role, that it can have space giving back to the city, and this will lead to a new attraction for the stagnant shopping district and the city.