Printer Friendly

Going spare: KDa adapt a disused bowling alley to create a vibrant internal landscape of novelty.

Creative re-use may not be an architectural discipline commonly associated with Japanese architecture. As styles pass, and as commercial buildings rise and fall, discarded like disposable packaging, when corporate businesses want to centralise disparate teams into a flexible, communal space, tradition suggests the latest state of the art commercial development.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Convention, however, is not for Klein Dytham architecture (KDa). Instead, the Tokyo-based practice, led by European expats Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, prides itself on its ability to adjust people's focus back onto the inherent value of cultural artefacts and activities that are too often overlooked in the busyness of day to day life.

Dytham often begins lectures with an image of a Tokyo cab interior, decorated with lace, tissue boxes, lucky charms and white gloved drivers; a landscape of novelty that barely registers on the Japanese retina. While newcomers enjoy such curiosities, as time passes perception shifts and details fade to background.

As undercover cultural spies, KDa are unique within the Japanese architectural community, operating with success and distinction. Many of their strategies confront convention with fun and playfulness, and even when working for one of the world's leading advertising agencies, they manage to maintain their chosen course.

On this scheme they took a big risk, working beyond their appointment to find an apt home for the recently merged agency, TBWA\Hakuhodo. The suggestion to occupy a former ten-pin bowling alley was not quite what the client had in mind. Despite this, KDa convinced them that asking clients to use a shared lobby, that still serves at least one functioning bowling hall, was a perfectly acceptable thing to do.

Aside from this necessary cultural shift, however, once across the shared threshold of carnival lights and neon, the single span, 30-lane bowling hall provides the perfect terrain for the 300-person design studio. Working with the existing grain, removing the suspended ceiling to reveal nine 2m deep downstand beams, the interior was arranged in linear strips. With new windows at the rear, and timber lanes used to connect clusters of desks, the former life of this building is easy to discern.

Onto this matrix, free-standing tofu-shaped blocks were inserted to provide necessary privacy, with battered sides that maintain maximum light penetration from above. In relation to the strength of the architect's strategic first moves, the execution of the interior design is relatively modest. Despite this, however, throughout the main hall and the mezzanine conference spaces there is a clarity of articulation and expression that allows its users scope to adapt and adjust. Far more cost effective than the previously budgeted strategy, perhaps others will now follow the example set by this redevelopment by considering creative re-use as a suitable, cost effective and efficient use of Japan's existing buildings.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
COPYRIGHT 2007 EMAP Architecture
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:interior design
Author:Gregory, Rob
Publication:The Architectural Review
Date:Aug 1, 2007
Words:477
Previous Article:Organic embrace: the fluid geometry of this new crematorium evokes a sense of peace and serenity.
Next Article:Seismic Swatch: a new retail and office tower in Ginza exploits cutting edge structural design to cope with seismic loading.


Related Articles
As statements go, that was a mouthful.
Optoelectronic substrates--will it happen? The economic model for the optoelectronic interconnect favors high data rate transmission over moderate to...
Multilayer design tool.
Cubic commune: Ryue Nishizawa challenges conventional attitudes to multiple residence development.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |