LocationHakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
Text description provided by the architects. For around 10,000 years in japan, the Jomon culture maintained a richly spiritual society and was a sustainable culture characterized by a closeness to nature. Today, as we confront environmental problems, the Jomon culture is attracting worldwide attention as a model of society from which we can learn. Our design of this center aimed to create a space that produced the Jomon culture.
The baseline of the plan was a 200-meter long wall of large curvature that creates a barrier dividing the present day ( the highway ) from the Jomon period (the Kakinoshima site ) and assigns the primary function to the site.
The exhibition rooms are particularly important place inside the center, and the thermal environment in these rooms was stabilized by nesting them within a buffer space. The spatial representation integrates the exhibition rooms with the site through a cross-section that guides the visitor from the entrance on highway level down to the exhibition rooms on the Kakinoshima site level.
The building was given an exposed concrete finish wherever possible both inside and outside. The smooth curved surface of the walls was constructed economically by fixing narrow planks of cedar of varying thicknesses and widths into regular 600 mm – width formwork. With the grain of the wood transferred to its surface, the concrete shows an expression that is never repeated and acquires a warmth and delicacy.
The manual work that produced this effect seems particularly appropriate in this center that is home to the clay figurines of Jomon culture.