This gallery is the second phase of a process started in 2012 with the design and construction of Villa U and follows thethen commenced research for timelessness. The site directly overlooks onto the Pacific Ocean and its surrounded by a thick bamboo forest; to contain his fleece of super cars, the client commissioned a pavilion in adjacency to his residence.

Location: Shizuoka, Jp
Program: Private Gallery For Super Cars
Design Period: 2016 – 2018
Completion: 2018
Size: 182.25 Sqm
Structure: Rc + Steel
Lead Architect: Satoshi Okada
Team – Soa: Lucia Rocchelli, Lisa Tomiyama
Structural Design: Hojo Structure Research Institute
Mechanical Engineering: Akeno Facility Resilience
Contractor: Daido Kogyo Co.
Photo Credits: Hiroshi Ueda, Satoshi Shigeta

Gallery U By Satoshi Okada architects - sheet1
©Hiroshi Ueda, Satoshi Shigeta

Conscious of the rich nature surrounding the site, Satoshi Okada conceived an invisible building, transparent in all parts but the thin flat roof.

The gallery is glazed on all four sides and features an incredibly thin steel structure. This latter was designed following the principle of the catenary curve: learning from the Franciscan priest and mathematician Pad. Carlo Lodoli (Venice, 18th century)and from his application of this principle to the design of a small window sill at the cloister of San Francesco della Vigna, a ribbed slab tapers towards its edges and transfer its load onto perimetral V shaped columns. These are are instead a direct memory of Viollet-le-Duc’s concept for a market hall designed in 1865. The columns are tapered as well, so that the cross section at the base looks rather slender.

Gallery U By Satoshi Okada architects - sheet2
©Hiroshi Ueda, Satoshi Shigeta

The gallery is equipped with an underground extension, manouvred via a car lift that literally doubles the capacity of the indoor space. Besides the pit, lateral pockets contain the engine and a storage room.

Gallery U By Satoshi Okada architects - sheet3
©Hiroshi Ueda, Satoshi Shigeta

The lightness of the bearing element together with the transparent cladding leave the scene to the client’s cars, visible between the bamboos. This barely perceivable and apparently fragile object states its intensity through transparency, like the fading pines of the folding screen Shorin-zu Byobu by Japanese artist Tohaku Hasegawa, 16th century.

Satoshi Okada – Biography

Born in Japan, 1962.
After graduated from MSBD Columbia University 1989, received Ph.D from Waseda
University 1993, and established the firm Satoshi Okada architects 1995. Okada has been awarded several prizes in and out of Japan; one of the most remarkable is the Grand-prix Dedalo Minosse International Prize in Italy, 2006.

The first monograph was published in 2009 from Electa architettura (Milano) with the
introduction – L’architetto Satoshi Okada – by Francesco Dal Co. Works and projects have been published in numerous publications and some films across the world. Satoshi Okada is also Professor at Chiba University and a Research Fellow at the Toyota Foundation. He has been a Visiting Professor at several institutes and academies abroad.


Tokyo based office. It was founded in 1995 and since then fostered architectural quality at every scale: the studio accepts a limited amount of projects at the same time so that each of them is carefully crafted; all design tasks are pursued in collaboration with a diverse range of professional -engineers, designers, handcrafters- from its onset, resulting in a rather smooth work flow.

The office caters mainly for residential architecture along with building for culture and
leisure. Throughout the years SOA received multiple awards.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

Write A Comment