Kajima Design installed a farm on the rooftop of a commercial complex, pursuing the role and potential of architecture within the context of agriculture as an industry.
This commercial complex – featuring a rooftop farm – is located in Kyoto’s central Rokkaku area. It is a project to promote agriculture.
The client has had a long involvement in selling vegetables and operating farms. With such aims as helping solve the problems faced by Japanese agriculture and improving Japan’s food self-sufficiency situation, the client wished to establish a facility that could communicate the essence of agriculture in a central urban setting where consumers and sellers spend most of their time. In doing so, the client wanted people to once again become aware of important values that were gradually being lost. That motivation was the starting point of the project. The architectural plan included an operational program in which the three aforementioned parties (producers, sellers and consumers) would meet and interact. The facility comprises areas on the first and second floor where vegetables, fruit and processed products are sold. The third floor has a rooftop farm and a restaurant facing the farm.
The layout includes a set-back from the road frontage and limits height and the floor-area ratio. This design respects the historical nature of Kyoto’s cityscape, while the retail store incorporates a zone system that encourages interaction and communication between sellers and consumers. Hence, the design offers a new concept for the way commercial facilities function.
Finishing touches include a variety of features that maximize the potential of the materials employed and harmonize textures through extra attention to detail. This provides the area with an embedded sense of simplicity, gracefulness and strength. Such features include a concrete building frame with a textured Japanese cedar finish, a horizontal-scratch ceramic-tile façade with fine curved lines, eaves made from locally produced bare timber, and steel components – powder-coated to a granular texture and rust color – made to resemble hoes.
The environmental plan does not depend on advanced environmental technologies but rather is based on Kyoto’s natural features, traditions and culture. By utilizing the depth of the eaves, sunlight, natural airflow and well-water, and by using the field soil to inhibit temperature increase, environmental performance is achieved through methods that take advantage of the providence of nature.
Kyoto Yaoichi Honkan, Kyoto, Japan
Program: rooftop farm, supermarket, restaurant
Architects: Kajima Design (Yasuaki Arai, Atsushi Miwa)
Area: 1,658 sqm