Roof and Mushrooms pavilion
by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

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Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa has teamed up with design studio Nendo to create a hillside pavilion, filled with stools designed to look like troops of wild mushrooms (+ slideshow).

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

Nishizawa, who is best known as one half of architecture duo SANAA, worked with Nendo to construct the wooden pavilion on a steep hillside on the campus of Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

The smooth timber roof of the structure follows the incline of the hill and is supported by dozens of narrow timber columns. In some places these are anchored into the ground and in other spots they are fixed to the surface of an outdoor staircase.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

"The pavilion's spatial experience is intended to remind visitors of walking in the mountains under thick tree cover," said the designers.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

Curved steel tubes were used to make a series of stools both inside and outside of the shelter, and were designed with different shapes and sizes to mimic the way fungi grows in the wild.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

"We wanted to design architectural elements that would 'grow' naturally from the space, rather than to put furniture in a room," the designers explained.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

Some stools form an extension to the staircase balustrade, while others wrap around columns and some interlock with one another.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

The university plans to plant a grove of Japanese plum trees on the site next to the pavilion. "Their fragrant early spring blossoms will only add to an already beautiful site," added the designers.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

Here's a project description from Nendo:


A small pavilion "roof and mushrooms" in Kyoto

A small pavilion on the campus of Kyoto University of Art and Design, born from a collaboration between architect Ryue Nishizawa and design office nendo. The location: a steep hill face covered in luxurious vegetation.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

On a clear day, you can almost count the 36 crests of the hills that line Kyoto's eastern edge. The adjacent area is earmarked for a new grove of Japanese plum trees, and their fragrant early spring blossoms will only add to an already beautiful site. Nishizawa used a single roof to incorporate these elements into the pavilion's design.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

The roof is subtly inclined to follow the angle of the site. Dipping under it, visitors realise that the roof, delightfully and ambiguously, is also a wall.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

The pavilion's spatial experience is intended to remind visitors of walking in the mountains under thick tree cover.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

To date, many of Nishizawa's buildings have felt like bright, open and airy fields or gardens, and the furniture inside them like wildflowers that blur the boundary between interior and exterior space while adding brightness and colour.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

But for the shady interior of this wooden structure, clinging onto the hillside exposed to the elements, we thought that furniture like fungi would be much more appropriate.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

Our mushroom-like stools for the space were handmade by artisans to slightly different shapes and sizes, giving a more natural effect.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

The stools' layout - clustered at the base of pillars, or in the nooks and crannies by stone walls and staircases - evokes the way that mushrooms growing the wild, and details like a handrail that transforms into a mushroom continue the metaphor.

Roof and Mushrooms pavilion by Nendo and Ryue Nishizawa

We wanted to design architectural elements that would 'grow' naturally from the space, rather than to put furniture in a room.

  • Rui Pedro

    What’s the point?

  • Marten Claesson

    The point is… Poetry. It’s fantastic!

  • Rembo

    I’m getting my dirt bike, I’ll be right back…

  • Concerned Citizen

    A pavilion is “a light, usually open building used for shelter, concerts, exhibits,etc., as in a park or fair.” Other than usually open, how does this structure warrant the description? Is this done out of ignorance or is someone attempting to redefine the word?

  • Concerned Citizen

    A pavilion is “a light, usually open building used for shelter, concerts, exhibits,etc., as in a park or fair.” Other than usually open, how does this structure warrant the description? Is this done out of ignorance or is someone attempting to redefine the word?