Gallery: Amazing Light-Filled Glass Studio In Japan


Core77 points us to this stunning crystalline building that serves as a flexible studio and workplace for students at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology. Designed by Tokyo-based architecture firm Junya Ishigami and Associates, the glass studio has a large open floor plan topped with a roof supported by columns of various sizes. Thanks to the building’s floor-to-ceiling glass facade and strips of skylights on the roof the daylighting in this space is superb, creating a spectacular place to work on design projects.

The building’s goal was to create a place where students could come to work on self-initiated projects and build things, but as students move in and out and projects change, so does the space required. So Ishigami and his team designed a building with a flexible and open layout supported by 305 pillars, which seem randomly placed — but they actually spent quite some time analyzing the location and diameter of each pillar to create spaces of varying size. The pillars create a vague sense of borders and partitions but are not so restrictive that they limit the space.

Covering the building entirely in glass with skylights above offers unbeatable daylighting — to the point where it almost seems that people are working outside during the day. At night, when the lights are on, the glass building shines like a diamond. The strange thing is that glass buildings are not very common in earthquake-prone Japan. In fact, Ishigami specifically did not design any earthquake-resistant walls, which seems unpractical and completely unsustainable. While we love the design of the building and the flood of natural daylight it provides, we’d hate to see it end up as shards of glass when the next big earthquake hits Tokyo.

+ Junya Ishigami and Associates,

Via Core77

Photo Credits: ©Iwan Baan


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  1. Kirimisakana May 13, 2011 at 10:55 am

    The earthquake‐resistant is planned very carefully. You should investigate about KAIT.

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  5. RE wonk July 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    So … where’s the bathroom?

  6. catherinetodd July 3, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Trace: well said. This so rarely happens, doesn’t it? Always a pigeon-hole view.

  7. davidwayneosedach July 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    What an inspiring place to work! It brings out your creative “best!”

  8. trace June 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I cannot understand how these architects, like SANAA, cannot even begin to look at the site their lovely building is ON – the first perspecive shot, with the manhole cover prominently featured, says it all..It is truely weird. Can\’t they find a Landscape Architect of similar vision to complete their site?

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