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Takuma Sugi + Nanako Hirai + Ben Nitta
Tokyo, Japan | View Map
Project Year
Keiko Kuramoto


Takuma Sugi + Nanako Hirai + Ben Nitta as Architects

This plywood pavilion entitled "IN THE LOOP" was designed and built for the 2015 Science and Engineering Festival at Waseda University. As it was to be built in the campus' central courtyard and displayed to the public, it was imperative that the design not impede the flow of pedestrians. Tight limits to the available budget and manpower necessitated that the design make efficient use of materials and allow for quick assembly. Furthermore, the design was to embody the festival's annual theme: "The Expanding Loop of Science & Engineering". The design we arrived upon managed to meet these requirements, in the form of a grid of plywood panels in the shape of a cubic volume with the four sides spherically hollowed out.

The design process made full use of 3D CAD. This enabled us to work out the design down to the fine details, simulate the process of assembly, and quickly reflect any design improvements to be shared with the rest of the team. On the other hand, the actual fabrication was done the old-fashioned way: by hand using paper stencils and jigsaws.

While the completed pavilion was on display to the public for a mere two days, it received an overwhelmingly possitive response. Visitors would gleefully wander in and about the structure, snapping photos from various angles. They also made good use of the similarly designed tables and stools strewn about. The dappled shadows cast as sunlight fell through the grid brings to mind light filtering through tree leaves, while the rhythmic pattern of consecutive rings gave visitors a peculiar uplifting feeling. All in all, the project was a tremendous success, and became a great experience for everybody involved.

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