After three years, the freshness of the SHIBAURA HOUSE architecture has not faded away.
I: When the architecture was completed, I sat down on the 2nd terrace and looked the view and felt, as if I were inside a piece of an artwork. And that fresh feeling hasn’t changed. Why? I am not sure. I feel the same whenever I visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, which was built about 10 years ago. It doesn’t change - in a positive sense. I don’t often feel that way with architecture designed by other people, so I find it a unique experience.
S: Yes. There are several areas of SHIBAURA HOUSE that are open to the outside, which probably gives you a different feeling than enclosed spaces with white walls. Ageing is more evident in a white cube. The energy keeps flowing in from the outside and keeps the space fresh. The large, indoor trees are great, which were not there in the beginning.
I: Now that you mention it, there was a dance event on the 5th floor a few days ago that incorporated the night view in a very interesting way. The users of the building conceive of surprising ways to utilize the spaces, which sparks the imagination.
S: It is much more exciting when people find their own ways to engage with a space, than you imagine yourself. This can also be said about the 21st Century Museum. You mentioned how relating to the local area was important. Shibaura is unique in this regard, as it mixes new arrivals and places that have been around for a long time. I am hesitant about designing spaces for children that are completely organized, without any disorder. What makes SHIBAURA HOUSE distinctive is how the view shifts according to where you stand. The view appears and disappears in relation to the floor and height. Many high-rise apartments are built, but it is important for children to spend time in places that connect with the city. I don’t believe in unnecessarily tight security measures either.
I: Even if architecture is great, it is pointless if you cannot maximize its potential - this is what I felt when I traveled around the world to see architecture prior to starting on our building. Setting up SHIBAURA HOUSE involved trial and error. But working with the staff I became aware of the interplay between space and people - the place shaping people, people shaping the place - and the new relationships emerging from human flow. This cannot be achieved without this architecture, but architecture alone cannot achieve it either.