20 March 2015

Doshisha obtained Occupational Certificate!

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During the past week there have been several authority inspections and defect inspection from us happening at Doshisha.
We have successfully obtained Occupational Certificate from Kyoto Council on MAR 19 - this formally marks the completion milestone of the project.

What is now left are documentation of as-built building for record purpose, and finalising paperwork with Doshisha University.... a little bit of breather after the climax va-va-voom.

A glimpse of the past few days:

Fire department briefing in the morning before inspection

Rooftop equipment safety inspection

Lift inspection...

Weights used to test lift loading

Our Kyoto office....  All these mockups, of ceiling (right top), of wall tiles (back)...and perspectives on the wall...even original competition entry plan is on the wall.
I was asked the question at an interview: "How do you feel when the finished project looks different from your design?"
My answer was: "But it always looks just like how we designed! That is the reason we are involved, to build what we designed, what we promised; we don't design something that can not be built.  And that feels great to see it coming to life."

14 March 2015

Spring coming

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春風に吹き出し笑う花もがな - 松尾芭蕉
Spring winds  
Hoping the flowers burst out in laughter
- Basho Matsuo

I can not wait for Spring to arrive at Doshisha.

3 March 2015

愛着 - Attachment to construction site

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I like the moment towards end of construction, when everyone has spent a good portion of their lives on site that there is a certain fondness and closeness to what they do and where they are.

Little gestures like taking shoes off rather than stumping around in construction boots, paying attention to small areas without being told to.. I found those very touching, and it is not cultural but rather universal. Of course there is the less romantic take of "dun wanna scratch da paint off" but that is no fun is it.

Doshisha is in the 13th month from its construction commencement.  Unbelievable.

largely finished student lounge, such beautiful light...
...someone in there fixing up the ceiling...

....with little "socks" on the bottom of the ladder 

tiling for water feature finished....

.... with neat stone "collars" to protect the bottom of steel columns, their grouts aligned whether or not anyone would see that after the water is in

entry canopies to buildings are installed, contrasting to the weight of the building volumes these are of sleek steel members....

... to look "light" the fixing needs to be neatly concealed....

...beneath precisely cut stone tiles

lighting up student lounge (lucky future students!)...

...but remember to take your shoes off!

1 March 2015

Wu-Gu and Chinese high tea

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Bonus of working on designs for restaurants - delicious ones especially - is exposure where we do not normally get as architects.

Wu-Gu was featured on Daily Telegraph on Sunday (for their delicious food), with interesting description of the space:

...the fitout is Chinese tea house gone high-rise .... not a fussy space...

We are never into the "fussy" kind of design so it is not to my surprise, but the tea house (and culture specific) is quite an interesting association which I do not dislike.  It is one which is quiet, serene, almost meditative, but with sweet smell in the air and warmth to the touch of fingertips.

More on making of Wu-Gu HERE
Wu-Gu restaurant official site HERE
Wu-Gu Facebook HERE
The original article HERE