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Watch Wood Work #08 – Tomioka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan, with Takaharu Tezuka

Event video
Wed 31 Mar 2021, 1 - 1.30pm

Wood Work was the Building Centre's online lunch talks series featuring international designers and their wood inspired projects, supported by the Timber Trade Federation and Wood for Good.

The eighth and final project of the series is the Tomioka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan. The project was presented by Takaharu Tezuka, co-founder of Tezuka Architects.



About the Tomioka Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Located in the vicinity of the world heritage site of Tomioka Silk Mill, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a rejuvenation of the historical landscape. The building is composed of repeating roof ridges, devised in respect to the traditional townscape. The intention was to copy the impression of the wooden truss of Tomioka Silk Mill. However, merely duplicating the old structure is uninspiring – it had to represent Tomioka as the city of the future. The building form establishes the structural system. The diagonal members bring planer rigidity to the structure, while the planes meet with each other at their edges to create a monocoque effect. With angle braces and knee braces supporting the framework, the result is a geometry that clearly shows the dynamics of the force. Timber buildings are both the oldest and the latest building technique. The true value of a timber construction is that it allows continuity of details from structure to fixture. A diagonal grid pattern appears repeatedly from the structure to the awning screen. Even the bookshelves are composed of the same pattern. In this way the new Chamber of Commerce is a genuine timber building, made possible by the age-old skills of craftsmen. A real wooden building does not get old; it matures, gains character, and looks better with time. The Main Hall has a brilliant accessibility from the street, and versatility for the public. From an Orchestra concert to a practice space for local festive dance, the hall can provide a backdrop for every aspect of public life in the city. This is where people gather; a new heart for the local community.




About Takaharu Tezuka

Takaharu Tezuka is President of Tezuka Architects, which he founded in 1994 with Yui Tezuka. The practice set out on a pursuit not just in designing architecture, but in changing the world for the better through the means of architecture. They see architecture are not merely an object, but something that holds the power to change people's lives and societies. Their work has won numerous international awards, been featured in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2004 and 2018, and the subject of the incredibly popular TED talk “The best kindergarten you've ever seen”. Takaharu has been a Professor at Tokyo City University since 2009.

The Wood Work event series is generously supported by Wood For Good. It is part of the Conversations about Climate Change programme, in association with the Timber Trade Federation.
Keep exploring
Wood Work series