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Katsutaro Office + Factory Japan : Miwa Building

Miwa Property design by Tetsuya Matsui + Tomoko Murata, UZU, Japan

20 Apr 2009

Katsutaro Office + Factory

Location: Miwa, Sakurai, Nara, Japan

Date built: 2004

Design: Tetsuya Matsui, UZU

Photograph: UZU

Katsutaro Office + Factory

Katsutaro Office + Factory in Miwa

The existing steel-frame building was reborn as the head office of Miwa Sohmen (Japanese vermicelli) company.

Photographs: Akiyoshi Fukuzawa

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I made the most of this location that is along the main street near the huge Torii of Miwa shrine, and The presence of this building like a wooden box on the street expresses the spirit of this company.

Repairing the building was kept to a minimum, the pipes of the facilities are laid the outside, and over them this building is covered with skin of Japanese cedar.
Openings on this wooden box can control light with the folding door, the slit and the revolving wing lattices. Also at the nighttime they’re closed to defend the internal function firmly and this building looks like the flat wooden box completely.

Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa

The first floor is a showroom of Sohmen. The customers can taste and buy it in the inner part. To construct this interior wall I borrowed the motif from the wooden case to keep Sohmen.

Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa

There are the office and the business room upstairs.

Photographs : UZU

Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa

This is the factory of Sohmen also located in Miwa.
A long time ago making Sohmen was a side business for agricultural families during winter.
Sohmen is used to be dried outside with cold wind blowing from the divine mountain (Mt. Miwa-yama).

In this way it was made in the devout place with Mother Nature for a long time. Therefore Sohmen is still important traditional food for Japanese people.
These days Sohmen is made in this factory with controlled temperature and humidity, dried with artificial wind by fans and forward all year round.

Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa Katsutaro Office + Factory Miwa

Nevertheless I hope people don’t forget it when it was made in Mother Nature with the divine mountain, even they’re making it in the efficient mechanization factory.

From such a desire, the ceiling and the partition wall were designed by imaging a delicate, white line of Sohmen dried under clear sky, and the line and the angle of the lightings were designed by imaging the shape of the ripple that extends from the water of one drop in divine mountain (Mt. Miwa-yama).

Katsutaro Office + Factory images / information from Tetsuya Matsui + Tomoko Murata, UZU 200409


Location: Katsutaro, Japan, East Asia

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