Q2 2021

38 BUILD Q2 2021 Jan21377 Innovation in the Forest KOTOAKI ASANO Architect & Associates is an award-winning architect who demonstrates excellence in innovation from his own personal atelier located in Tokyo. He has a passion for design, but also for creating poetry and art. or Kotoaki Asano, it’s about the little things in life. A one-man band, he designs stunning, modern houses to satisfy individual client requests, expressing his concepts and visuals clearly and simply. He has a fondness for creating beautiful spaces on a small scale. Big corporations get to control large building works in cities, especially in Japan, but Kotoaki strives to create small, sustainable projects with the intention of bringing joy to others. His successful work is backed up by a number of awards under his belt, including the iF DESIGN AWARD (2017, Hannover, Germany), Architectural Institute of Japan Rookie of the Year (2013, Tokyo, Japan) and Chubu Architecture Awards (2012, Nagoya, Japan), and in 2011, published a book titled “Gradation in the Forest Metamorphosis 2005-2010”. The current theme for Kotoaki’s work is urban furniture; he creates works of art to be placed within landscapes, surrounded by greenery, including 2016’s “Metamorphosis in the Forest”, a project located in an area called Naka-Karuizawa, close to Hoshino Onsen, consisting of “Gradation in the Forest” and “Three Cubes in the Forest”. “Gradation of the Forest” is a summer house made up of multiple cubes and small spaces, and is tucked away within a dense forest, standing calmly among the Japanese larch trees with their straight vertical silhouettes. It is a house that is isolated, with no big towns within walking distance. F Deep thought has gone into this structure, with each of the rooms being connected, fitting together perfectly due to complementing elements of the structural methods (reinforced concrete structure, steel frame structure, wooden structure, etc.), finishing materials, windows, walls, roofs, and so on. As well as this, a variety of materials were used throughout the building, including plywood, wood board, cement board, expose concrete, Japanese paper, gypsum board, glass, metal plate, and more. The project also includes modern micro-architectures, “Three Cubes in the Forest” which appear to be cubes that are embedded into the ground. Inspired by traditional Japanese tea ceremony rooms, they have various characteristics and functions; they have benches and windows so they can used as small buildings such as yoga studios and resting or meditation pods, and they can also be used as art and playrooms for children, and due to their size and shape, they can easily be moved around and relocated. It is with their location deep within the forest that people can use them as a form of escapism, to stop and take some time out to absorb the earthy ambience. Following his success so far, Kotoaki would like to embark around the world, bringing his excitingly creative and innovative architecture solutions to international clients. Company: KOTOAKI ASANO Architect & Associates Contact: Kotoaki Asano Website: http://kotoaki-asano.com/