In 1997, RRP and co-architects Kisho Kurokawa & Associates were approached by Amano Pharmaceutical to design a low budget building at Kagamigahara City, Gifu, to accommodate the company’s enzyme research group. The building, which has an area of 6,352.95m², was required to incorporate not only specialised laboratories but also offices and a restaurant.
The building form is strongly influenced by its hilly site, hence the curved plan. The surrounding landscaping is integral to the building design and the impressive views which it affords are maximised by the positioning of the building within the site and its glazed façades.
The roof's steel structure is expressed externally. Rooflights following each structural bay allow natural daylight to penetrate laboratory space. As a consequence of placing the roof structure outside, the design succeeds in minimising dust in laboratory areas.
By partially sinking the building into the hillside, the resultant thermal mass considerably reduces energy consumption whilst glazed façades are protected from solar gain by external shading.