This building was planned for the redevelopment of the City of Toyota’s Nature Learning Center. Based on a concept of creating a “pathway” linking with the forest, this building is composed of two gently curved volumes. The curves of the two volumes are inverted and layered at their peaks, and a three-dimensional internal space is created by joining them vertically at a central atrium space. Each volume has internal spaces and a roof. This design makes it feasible for the visitors to go out into the forest from anywhere in the building. Children learn about the nature in the building and gradually led into the forest from the lobby. The building is a “catapult” that leads people into the forest.
Beyond the vast forest, “satellite facilities” were also planned such as the bird-watching decks and rest areas spread throughout the wetlands. The design team was able to generate the surrounding environments of the architecture including exhibitions of the natural environment, signages throughout the buildings and forest, and walking trails. It couldn’t be realized without Toyota City’s deep knowledge and decisiveness who understand very well about the meaning of learning natural environment.
This building was selected for the first prize in an architecture and design competition held in September 2007, and it was constructed through much discussion between the city and its citizens.