The exterior of the Santo CLT office in the Shiga Prefecture, Japan during the day. Photo credit: Kei Sugino
The exterior of the Santo CLT office in the Shiga Prefecture, Japan at night. Photo credit: Kei Sugino
More and more architects are commemorating the beauty, strength, and sustainable properties of cross-laminated timber (CLT), and Junichi Kato & Associates, an architecture firm from Japan, display how the CLT can be utilised as both a structural as well as finishing material with the Santo CLT Office. Constructed in the Shiga Prefecture, Japan, the office, almost 140m², offers both welcoming and warm workspaces all featuring arched openings.
Junichi Kato & Associates drew on the climbing kiln in Shigaraki – a town famed for their ceramics – for inspiration, and brought into being a continuous arch-shaped frame for the structure. An elevated wooden terrace, partially shaded by the overhanging roof, wraps around two opposite sides of the edifice. Low-e glass and foam insulation improve the energy efficiency in the building while the floors and walls are all made up of CLT.
The entrance to the office is at the west, and visitors are instantly received by a small informal meeting area, reception desk, and an exhibition space. Natural light pours into the office by way of large windows, and mixed with the wood, provides the space with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. A wall separates the entrance from the large workspace located at the heart of the building. The shower, toilet, and night-duty room are all found at the back of the building.
The interior of the Santo CLT office in the Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Photo credit: Kei Sugino