8 BUILD Q3 2021 Apr21673 The Architecture of Synergy OOKI Architects & Associates is a firm operating out of Japan with an internationally growing prestige and a reputation for excellence. Handling a diversity of different projects of all types, for clients of all trades, its work both in methodology and in style fits itself perfectly to any brief, with an expansive portfolio that has impressed awards committees since its founding. iromoto Oki is the founder of OOKI Architects & Associates, a company taking a research-based approach to a myriad of different building and construction projects, ranging from massive hotels to hospitals and casinos. It has also cut its teeth on the creation and building of hot spring facilities and private funerary facilities. Fundamentally, OOKI Architects & Associates has been inspired by the surroundings in the local area in which it works, taking an in-depth and analytical approach to environmental problems and ethnic issues in order to integrate buildings into the surroundings in which they sit. This allows them to naturalistically grow up from the landscapes as though they were meant to be there. Moreover, OOKI Architects & Associates seek to respect and beneficially add to the local ecosystem and social structures in which they work, believing in a philosophy of treading lightly and forging a sense of belonging for his clients. He has taken this attitude to a multitude of builds at this point – over 400, in fact – all of which he has transformed into examples of buildings that give back. Furthermore, the brilliance of these buildings has allowed OOKI Architects & Associates to become a household name internationally, resulting in recognition from awards councils; this includes the 2021’s Leading Architecture Firm Japan 2021, Design & Build Awards, the 2020’s Outstanding Property Award for London for which it walked away with a platinum win, and 2020’s A’ Design Award and Competition for which it won the bronze. These awards have allowed its reputation for prestige and exemplary client-focused work to precede it. As a consequence, OOKI Architects & Associates’ work is recognizable across the board, contracting it for a project guarantees the quality of the end product, and its reliability as a firm is well-known. One of the buildings that it has applied its workings to in order to create something outstanding is the Museum in Wakayama, Japan. Fundamentally, this quayside establishment has been created to evoke a sense of whimsy and wonderment in those who visit it, creating different visual effects depending on how the guest approaches it – from a vantage point within a boat it seems to float atop the water, and if visiting in a car it gives the impression of swaying gently with the tide. Crucially, this aesthetically links it to the marine environment, creating a synergy that the client loves. It was created by using a combination of the right materials in a kind of juxtaposition, the glass wall on the outside and the inner solid wall holding different properties and therefore, when seen one atop the H other, causing an illusion of slow and steady undulating movement, not unlike the gentle roll of waves. The effect is magnificent; and thus, the facility has been able to achieve its visual and functional goals as a space of culture in Tanabe and an area of recreation, relaxation, and meditation. Another example of a build that OOKI Architects & Associates handled for its clients has recently been a private studio that also functions as a care centre. Found in Saga, Japan, Atelier K PLAN was an idea drummed up for a family, designed to reflect the client’s origins in everything from the design and form of the building to the way it was positioned. Dutifully, it was designed to allow visitors to face the sea – specifically, to face a country beyond the sea – angled thusly to allow them to feel this connection with the nation, even when it is many miles away.