07.01.2015 Emilia Margaretha

Fluid boundary: Community centre in Fukuyama

A new community centre designed by the Japanese architect  Keisuke Maeda has been built in Fukuyama, a city some 100 km west of Hiroshima. The facility, which offers about 110 m² in floor space, provides room for seminars and events as well as exhibitions of the work of local artists and craftsmen. Architect: UID architects, Hiroshima
Location: Fukuyama, Japan
At the junction of two streets in Fukuyama, a pergola-like structure catches the eye, forming a semi-sheltered space provided with various plantings and acting as a buffer zone between the outside world and the building. During the warm months of the year, sliding doors installed on two sides of the façade can be opened all the way, whereby a contiguous floor surface merges the sheltered space and the indoors.
The front room on the ground floor is used as a multi-purpose space for gatherings of various kinds and is equipped with furniture that is easy to collapse, whether to re-arrange the space or make more room. An exhibition gallery is located opposite the multi-purpose area and features a staircase leading up directly to the seminar room on the first floor. This room is distinguished from the rest by a dark carpet, and its comfortable furnishings create the relaxed and hospitable atmosphere of a place for lingering and passing the time. Plus it can also be used as a playroom for children. 
Wood is the predominant material throughout the building, with the interior walls, floors and furnishings all constructed out of plywood. Horizontal wooden slats on the exterior of the community centre's steel and timber frame create a visual connection with the timber-cladded building that adjoins it. 
The building, called utsuwa (bowl) by the architect, is to attract town residents of all age groups with its various functions, and thus develop into a place of encounter.
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