The segmented, geometrical forms of the Asahicho clinic's exterior redefine the conventional medical building standard, opening the practice to the local community in Japan.
Architect Hikalu Tanabe of hkl studio conceived an innovative medical centre within a residential area near Tokyo. Acting as the 'house of the quarter', the public clinic mirrors its social function with a concept of interaction between the external natural environment and interior spaces. Visitors are invited to enter the clinic through the familiar image of a typical house-shaped structure.
Forced by the site's boundaries, the building's L-shaped floor plan is stacked into two levels. Clinical examination rooms are situated in the ground level, remaining accessible to elderly and disabled visitors, while service spaces are upstairs within the gable roof.
Echoing Alvar Aalto's Paimio Sanatorium in Finland, several vertical breaks within the building's facade diffuse daylight into the halls of the Asahicho clinic. The soft, natural illumination contributes a theurapetic role to the healing process.
Photos Tetsu Hiraga and Shinkenchiku-sha