Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre by Kengo Kuma & Associates

Piled or aligned wooden slats create the dominating image of the entire building.

TOKYO – Layers of wooden slats have achieved a sense of balance at a corner structure in Tokyo’s lively Asakusa neighbourhood.

Given a site of just 326-sq-m, architects at Japanese firm Kengo Kuma & Associates were determined to create a space for a tourist information centre, plus conference rooms, a multi-purpose hall and exhibition space.

As a beacon for tourists, the structure has a representative function – plus the architects say they wanted to reflect the flair of the lively neighbourhood within the design.

The building resembles a pile of wooden huts posed on top of each other, while strong vertical properties also provide sun protection on façade’s top. Meanwhile, there’s a sense of tension in thinking of what might happen if the Jenga-like piled tower might collapse.

Photos courtesy of Takeshi Yamagishi

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