High-Tech Low-Tech

Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Aerial view: Situated in a narrow street of Kyoto, the building is surrounded, on its eastern façade, by commercial buildings and, on its northern and southern façades, by housing projects. Most of the façades are closed to other buildings, so the main façade is as open as possible. It shows the activity of the building, which is an intellectual and cultural center dedicated to the study of Asian civilizations in Japan. The building has a traditional body and a contemporary face.

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    Holcim Awards 2014 Asia Pacific ceremony, Jakarta, Indonesia

    Presentation of the Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize 2014 for "High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan" (l-r): winners Benoît Jacquet and Manuel Tardits; together with Maria Atkinson, member of the Board of the Holcim Foundation.

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    Manuel Tardits of Mikan in Yokohama views the key point of his team’s Acknowledgement prize-winning project is the careful balance between traditional construction techniques and state-of-the-art materials. “High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods” in Kyoto, Japan is equipped with the most advanced technological features, the structure offers a prime example of sustainable development in modern construction, and concurrently, time-honored Japanese woodworking methods were deployed, allowing the building to be erected rapidly.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Street view of western façade: The wooden curtain-wall is composed by electrochromic glass, and the appearance of the façade changes according to weather conditions. The space behind the façade is a buffer zone. This space is a place of passage, or promenade inside the building, with an open stairway connected to the library. Each step is like an extension of the bookshelf as if movement was supported by culture. This is a contemporary building rooted in Japanese tradition.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Floor and roof plans.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    North-south and east-west sections.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Wooden structure mounted in two days.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Carpenters at work. Hand-cutting of cryptomeria (Japanese cedar) pillars on site.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    View to the north-west from the third floor terrace.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Traditional beam-to-beam joint carpentry detail.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    View of the stairway and the bookshelf, under construction.

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Changing façade of the building: morning, afternoon and night (reflection and transparency).

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    Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods, Kyoto, Japan

    Benoît Jacquet, Manuel Tardits and the project team.

  • Awards Acknowledgement prize 2014–2015 Asia Pacific

The French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) has an extensive library housed in a new building on a narrow site surrounded by neighboring buildings on three sides. Equipped with the most advanced technological features, the structure offers a prime example of sustainable development in modern construction. Concurrently, time-honored Japanese woodworking methods were deployed, allowing the building to be erected rapidly.

By Benoît Jacquet, - EFEO, Kyoto, JapanManuel Tardits - Mikan, Yokohama, Japan and

Ideas: Circular Design

The French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) has an extensive library housed in a new building on a narrow site surrounded by neighboring buildings on three sides. Equipped with the most advanced technological features, the structure offers a prime example of sustainable development in modern construction.

Concurrently, time-honored Japanese woodworking methods were deployed, allowing the building to be erected rapidly.

High-Tech Low-Tech

Project authors

  • Holcim Awards 2014 Asia Pacific ceremony, Jakarta, Indonesia
    Benoît Jacquet

    EFEO

    Japan

  • Holcim Awards 2014 Asia Pacific ceremony, Jakarta, Indonesia
    Manuel Tardits

    Mikan

    Japan

  • Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center …
    Kiwako Kamo

    Mikan

    Japan

  • Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center …
    Masashi Sogabe

    Mikan

    Japan

  • Project Entry 2014 Asia Pacific - High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center …
    Masayoshi Takeuchi

    Mikan

    Japan

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