The existing Building 60 was completed in 1962 as Japan’s first supersonic wind tunnel. It was used as a supersonic airflow wind-tunnel laboratory and a high-speed internal fluid laboratory. When it became an aerospace research laboratory in 1964, the supersonic wind tunnel and the high-speed internal fluid laboratory were used by the aerodynamics department and the engine department. Later, it came under the management of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science until 1989, when it ceased functions due to water leaks in the transformer room and other reasons. This project is aiming to furnish Building 60 to have a function of historical archive storage building as the memorial hall for the 60th anniversary of the Institute of Industrial Science and we secured floorspace as a research building.
The first phase of the renovation focused on the research laboratory facilities. We designed it to reorganize the complicated spaces of the existing building, while adding modern laboratory facilities to enrich the environment and to secure user-friendly spaces. In the second phase, Building 60 will be completed by adding archival and reference storage space. By efficiently using the structural frame of the existing building, we were able to not only reduce the carbon footprint and environmental burden of the entire project but also to realize Building 60 with showing its history of over 50 years by representing the passage of time in architecture.
For instance, in our plan, we didn’t conceal the existing structural frame by placing a ceiling, we simply treated the frame surface as minimum as possible so that we can enjoy the change of the materials over time. To secure a space for utilities and plumbing without interfering the external appearance of the existing building, we placed them separated from the existing building as external pipe shafts. Inside the building, we have integrated the facilities by placing a raised floor on the second floor making it easy to lead in plumbing and ducting. It also provides a space for under floor air-conditioning system.