World Architecture Festival winner Makoto Nakayama talks about HIGO

Makoto Nakayama of Nakayama Architects, who will be a keynote speaker at GIS Kraków and GIS Budapest 2016, talks about his project HIGO in Japan, designed in 2013 and completed in 2014, winner of the World Architecture Festival – Office category.

He describes this project as a challenge of using thin materials (thinness like that of a bamboo toothpick) in architecture. It is a 3-story steel structure designed using the keywords “slim”, “small” and “thin”. “I always think about how could I replace the large amount of books and materials with architecture; can every individual book become an interior; can windows be open to any angle without limit (freely)?”

Another feature of this building is using 50⨯50⨯100㎜ cork blocks as materials. The lightweight cork has properties of sound absorbency, insulation and is made in scrap wood of the bark of the cork oak. The sustainable and fast growing cork oak is expected to be a material of the future. The cork also won’t catch fire by burner.

At the beginning of the building’s life, the color is dark-brown and then it will shade off slowly and finally it becomes silver gray. Also the cork surface will deteriorate when time goes by and it becomes bumpy. “I also wish to have moss or plants grow on these corks, so this architecture will become part of nature,” says Makoto Nakayama.

Here are the 2015 awards of Makoto Nakayama

• Architectual Institute of Japan – 40th. Hokkaido Architecture Award
• World Architecture Festival (Category Winner)
• JCD Design Award (Silver Prize)
• LEAF AWARDS 2015 Finalist
• 2A Asia Architecture Award Finalist
• World Architecture Community Awards
• JCD Hokkaido Design Award 2015 (Best Prize)
• Good Design Award 2015
• 28th. Nikkei New Ofiice Award
• 3rd Hokkaikouki Design Award (The Best Excellent Prize)