Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Location: 2-294 Torii Matsu Machi, Kasugai-shi, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Client: GC Corporation
Site Area: 421.55 sqm
Built Area: 233.95 sqm
Total Floor Area: 626.5 sqm
Cooperation for Design: Design Department of Matsui Construction
Structural Design: Jun Sato Structural Design
Photographs: Daici Ano
This is architecture that originates from the system of Cidori, an old Japanese toy. Cidori is an assembly of wood sticks with joints having unique shape, which can be extended merely by twisting the sticks, without any nails or metal fittings. The tradition of this toy has been passed on in Hida Takayama, a small town in a mountain, where many skilled craftsmen still exist.
Cidori has a wood 12 mm square as its element, which for this building was transformed into different sizes. Parts are 60mm×60mm×200cm or 60mm×60mm×400cm, and form a grid of 50cm square. This cubic grid also becomes the grid on its own for the showcase in the museum.
Jun Sato, structural engineer for the project, conducted a compressive and flexure test to check the strength of this system, and verified that even the device of a toy could be adapted to ‘big’ buildings. This architecture shows the possibility of creating a universe by combining small units like toys with your own hands. We worked on the project in the hope that the era of machine-made architectures would be over, and human beings would build them again by themselves.