akihisa hirata architecture office . photos ©2011 Takumi Ota Photography . + mot . domus
I wished to create a pavilion that resembled a single tree.
Trees have a symbolic shape. Simultaneously they produce shade while providing an ideal space for mankind. I wondered what would happen if the walls were to keep growing upwards and present an uneven surface like ‘pleats’. Pleats resemble a tree in the way that they spread out and capture the sun and I felt that they would produce a bright, impressive exterior. I also thought that the space beneath this surface would present a relaxed atmosphere, similar to that of tree shade that would be an ideal quality for an exhibition space.
The pleated surface was created using an extremely simple technique. It consists entirely of combinations of isosceles triangles in what is called a hyplane structure, producing a continuous curved, pleated surface. This basic structure can be repeated in a simple fashion to construct an organic whole. It is similar to the way in which a tree branches repeatedly in a simple form that assists efficient photosynthesis.
What does nature or simplicity mean in architecture? This small pavilion poses an important question for the future.