Spiralab by
KINO Architects

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The angled columns of an earthquake-proof structure frame a series of window slits on the exterior of this Tokyo research laboratory by KINO Architects (+ slideshow).

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Located in an industrial area beside Tokyo Bay, the building is used as a chemical research facility for a materials development brand and comprises a U-shaped block with a horizontal slice through its middle.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

This slice offers clues about the internal arrangement of the building, which is based on the abstraction of a linear plan. KINO Architects planned a route through a reception, an auditorium, meeting rooms and laboratories, then stretched it through all three floors to create a loop from one ground floor entrance to another.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Offices and meeting rooms required the most privacy, so the architects located them on the middle floor where they can be separated if necessary.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Meanwhile, laboratories can be found on the ground and second floors and feature a modular grid of power inlets, drainage and water points, enabling a variety of different desk layouts.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

The architects named the building Spiralab, as a reference to its looping interior layout. "The spiral shape responds to the three requests: research efficiency, high-security and comfort," they explained. "Also, the spiral form becomes the key to the last request - symbolism. We think that true symbolism of architecture comes from the architecture itself; designed through logical thinking."

Spiralab by KINO Architects

The earthquake-proof structure is described as a cross between a rigid frame and a truss framework, with angled columns that can take both horizontal and vertical stresses. A curtain wall structure is constructed in front and clad with concrete panels to give the building its smooth grey facades.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Japanese studio KINO Architects have offices in both Tokyo and Shiga. Previous projects by the firm include a house with four attics and a concrete residence with views of a nearby castle. See more stories about KINO Architects on Dezeen.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Photography is by Hiroyuki Hirai and Daici Ano.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Here's some more information from the architects:


Spiralab

A "Spiral" fills the needs.

This building is a new chemical research laboratory for a world leading materials development corporation. It is on a large site in an industrial area near Tokyo bay.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

We responded to the request for "research efficiency" by using flexible experimental rooms where researchers can adjust their research space according to their needs. To the requests for "high security" and "comfort" we responded with high-security, and high-comfort offices and break areas throughout the entire building. We responded to the request for "symbolism" with symbolic architecture that helps promote the company's abilities to the world.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

First, we horizontally aligned the main rooms: laboratories, an office, meeting rooms, an auditorium and a reception room along a common corridor and put the guest entrance and the researchers entrance at either end. By adopting a plan with a common corridor, the clients can freely select doorways and move partitions in the experimental rooms according to their needs. The security door is easily adjustable due to the linear shape of the plan and the separation of guest and researcher entrances.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Next, we transformed this linear plan in three-dimensions. The office and the meeting rooms need the highest confidentiality, so these were separated from the linear plan. The linear plan spirals around the office and meeting rooms. As a result the office and the meeting rooms are untouched by other rooms on every side, horizontally.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Vertically these rooms are in the centre of the spiral. Therefore the access to the experimental rooms on the upper and lower floors becomes easy. Additionally while these rooms have high-security the walls are transparent, giving a comfortable open-air atmosphere.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

The break areas were made by widening the main corridor. As a result, researchers can take a break while changing rooms. In addition, the linear break areas spirals around the court yard. Therefore, this vertical plan allows the researchers to see the court yard from various points of view.

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Architect: Masahiro Kinoshita / KINO architects
Location: Chiba, Japan
Principal use: research laboratory
Structure: steel

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Scale of building: 3 stories
Site area: 600 ha
Building area: about 1300 sqm
Total floor area: about 3000 sqm

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: site plan

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: first floor plan - click above for larger image

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: second floor plan - click above for larger image

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: cross section one

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: cross section two

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: long section

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: plan concept

Spiralab by KINO Architects

Above: earthquake-proof structure

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