Murasakino Wakuden

Kita-ku, Kyoto
Hiroyuki Hirai

This building houses a restaurant serving Japanese cuisine, or more correctly, a shop serving lunch boxes. It is a three-storey structure. The first floor is the reception and sales area, where the take-out lunch boxes are sold. The second floor is the main dining hall, and the kitchen and service area are on the third floor. The site has an area of less than 60 sqm. It is bounded on the south side by Kitaoji Avenue, a major thoroughfare that is very noisy. On the west side is a 6 m wide road, and further west is the Daitokuji temple complex. In this design, a small garden serving as the entrance court was created on the north side. The first floor has an earthen finish and is a quiet space with a closed character. It is in marked contrast to the second floor space which is open to the west. Louvers are used to direct the eye, not to the ground or the sky, but to the greenery of the sprawling Daitokuji complex on the other side of the street. The second floor space is open in character and faces a garden court to the north and the Daitokuji complex to the west. In the first floor, light filters in only through the north court, but the second floor space is full of light. This court is key to the spatial transition in this work. It was a major theme of the design.
A second theme was the question of Wafu. How is a Japanese sense or style to be expressed in a reinforced concrete structure? To put it another way, how is the powerful presence of the Daitokuji complex to be acknowledged? The garden court to the north was my solution to these questions. It provides a means of borrowing the verdant scenery of Daitokuji temple complex and creating continuity between the complex and the site. With a road intervening between the site and the complex, it was important to maintain a continuity of greenery. The roof is another way in which a Japanese style has been evoked. Instead of adopting the usual gabled roof, I have shown only the floating edge of the roof. This gives more importance to the wall and serves to emphasize the exposed concrete wall and the horizontal chestnut panels. These were the means employed to suggest a Japanese style and to acknowledge the presence of the Daitokuji temple complex.