The building is a public facility for agriculture community in the Taisanji District, Takashima City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. The site is located on the south edge of a small community amongst a vast farmland, which has historically been cultivated by demolishing a whole hill to make a plateau 200 meters above the sea level. It was about a century ago when pioneers of more than one hundred families began to fertilize the new land with dreaming a bright future of a prosperous society with agricultural industries. After the post-war period, they were totally protected by some national policies for promoting agriculture in terms of maintaining the rapid growth nation of Japan. However, for these couple of decades, with the transformation of the national industry structure, farmers without global emulation powers have been driven to find themselves hardly to survive on agriculture; and at last the national policy of import liberation of agricultural products decisively made the agriculture industries declined overall, which caused a collapse of an agricultural society in Japan.
This facility is projected to revitalize the community by means of promoting intercourses between farmers and people in cosmopolitan areas. Because of a highly developed mechanization of agrichemical aided food productions, nature-rooted agriculture has been disregarded in the process of modernization. Now the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging an agricultural policy in cooperation with a re-illumination of food education. The farmers invite people to their land and let them experience agriculture to eat food by cooking their own crops. Through the mutual relations, farmers educate people of what is agriculture; while, farmers are educated what is required to agriculture in the contemporary society.
In reality, the District has not prepared any facility for supporting the promotion. Mayor has thought that the building itself must be fascinating to visitors, and it was an agreement with the architect to design so-called "a beautiful building," making people impressed and moved to felicity, a quality of beyond-expression-ness, which is what I name "intensity of architecture." The intensity suspends human logics to verbalization, and directly reacts human body like a pelle d'oca.
The building is composed of multi-purpose space for any agricultural event, cooking place for inventing recipes with the particular crops, shop for selling products as well as crops, assembly for study and intercourses, lounge for a break, shower and locker rooms for people of experiencing agriculture activities, and finally an office for administration. Now they are proud of 22 recipes using radish, a specialty in the region.
It is made of wooden structure to which CSS is applied. CSS, Container Structure System, is the new construction method which Satoshi Okada & Hirokazu Toki invented in Gallery in Kiyosato. Ship-shape elements functions as structures, each of which contains "secondary space" in itself. Spaces between structural elements, delineated by glass walls, are defined as "primary space" for any activity.
The characteristics of CSS is more efficient in public facilities all the more because it flexibly responds to a capacity transformation demanded to increase or decrease facility itself. For instance, in CSS, when a ship-shape element is added and glass walls delineate a certain required space, a space of extension takes place. Indeed in the future, both accommodation and restaurant will be attached to the building.
Text by Satoshi Okada