Showa Sekkei is an architectural design company from Japan founded in 1957. Today, it has 212 employees and the president is Mikio Chikusa. Among the values of this ever-advancing company are an organization with flexibility and respect for people, a pioneering spirit, and creative and versatile use of human resources. They aim to contribute to the development of society with their designs while providing a positive workspace, attaining the happiness of their employees.
Focusing on technology, the company strives for results that are suitable for the needs of clients from a variety of perspectives, acknowledging society’s increasing diversification.
Here are 15 projects by Showa Sekkei you must know about:
1. Abeno Pedestrian Bridge
As a public walkway, Abeno Pedestrian Bridge is a project with a transportation purpose inaugurated in 2013. It connects three buildings with each other and with the sidewalk, leading the pedestrian through a winding way with an innovative shape that contrasts itself with the orthogonality of the buildings around it. On the platform, people can have different sights, enriching the experience.
2. Sanda Municipal Woody Town Civic Center
Built in 2005, Sanda Municipal Woody Town Civic Center is another public space designed by Showa Sekkei. The design has a clear intention to provide an interesting connection between the building’s interior and the outside. This transition starts with a wood deck near the entrance leading to the large green space in front of the building.
3. Tachibana Ainosono Kindergarten
Tachibana Ainosono Kindergarten was built in 2014. It is one of the many examples of buildings designed by Showa Sekkei with an educational function. In this case, the building was oriented to suit students at a very young age. To do so, the design has playful elements and uses different shapes and colours, which is important to stimulate children’s creativity.
4. Kobe Municipal Sumashoufu High School
Another project with educational purposes is Kobe Municipal Sumashoufu High School, from 2009. It is a school for older teenagers, and the design provided spaces that value collectivity, debate, and people connection. At the centre of the building, there is a patio to which the windows are turned, reinforcing the idea of conjunction between the students.
5. Sumiyoshigawa Riverside Forum Library & Exhibition Complex
In Sumiyoshigawa Riverside Forum Library & Exhibition Complex, built in 2013 by Showa Sekkei, there is an interesting diversity of spaces that creates different types of experiences for the user. In some of them, there is a connection to the outdoors with a calm, contemplative atmosphere.
This project accomplishes one of the main aims of the company to propose memorable architecture integrated with green, outdoor spaces.
6. Sakai Soccer National Training Center
Sakai Soccer National Training Center, from 2009, represents another subject dominated by this company: architecture for sports. It is a huge complex with 14 Soccer Fields, 8 Futsal Fields, and a 400m track. In 2013, it was awarded the Osaka Landscape Architecture Award. Its implantation near the water provides outstanding sights, and along with the green spaces, it enables the comfort of players and visitors.
7. Musashi Budokan
Also, with purposes related to sports activities, Musashi Budokan, built in 2000, has a remarkable shape. The circular building is sheltered by the junction of two curved structures that form a “hat” that seems to be floating, connecting softly and quietly to the walls that form the centre of the gymnasium. This gentle connection provides natural lightning through the side hallways.
8. Shizuoka Prefectural Fuji Swimming Pools
With a curved structure, Shizuoka Prefectural Fuji Swimming Pools was inaugurated in 2002 and has been awarded 4 times. To ensure the stability of the large span, a wooden structure was developed. However, the exterior of the building has a different aesthetic, with a metallic texture. The curves and the grey colour provide an interesting site of the building along with the mountains that exist behind it.
9. Nagai Stadium（Yanmar Stadium Nagai)
Also, a sports-related project, Yanmar Stadium Nagai, was founded in 1996 and has won 5 awards. Although it was designed to be an athletics stadium, one of the major events it has hosted was the 2002 World Cup. The original structure of the stadium was built in 1964, and Showa Sekkei designed an extension to serve as the venue for Japan’s National Sports Festival.
Plenty is a commercial facility built in 2009 in Kobe, Japan. It has a typical shopping mall design, with 4 floors and a circulation area at the centre of the plan. The building’s façade reveals a clear inspiration in Art Deco style in architecture, with linear, rectangular geometric forms, along with curved ornamental elements.
11. Himawari-no-Oka Park
Himawari-no-Oka Park is part of another type of design service by Showa Sekkei, the Urban Planning and Redevelopment Coordination. In this service, they aim to promote unique and attractive towns finding optimal solutions through research, planning, and design.
This park was inaugurated in 2002 and has been awarded twice. The twisty ways and gardens provide a unique walk, focusing on the experience of the visitor.
12. Red Cross Himeji Hospital
Red Cross Himeji Hospital is a medical facility with 503 beds inaugurated in 2001. As a hospital, this design had the urge to provide a comfortable and peaceful environment. The colour of the lights contributes to this goal, as the yellow light is proved to be more tranquillizing than the white one.
The views through the glasses are linked to green areas, connecting people inside the hospital to the natural environment, which also helps promote comfort.
13. Yao Municipal Hospital
A medical facility project, Yao Municipal Hospital, was founded in 2003 and awarded in 2005 with Osaka-city Landscape Architecture Award. As a public hospital, its design establishes an interesting connection to the public space around it, with large spans as entrances linked to the sidewalk. Besides, the use of green areas is very convenient, especially next to the windows where patients stay.
14. Kitakyushu Environment Museum
This exhibition facility was inaugurated in 2001, and it is a 2-floor building. The architectural design is very related to the museum’s theme, and spaces highlight the trees and the grass. Also, the choice of materials such as wood provides a visual link to nature as soon as the visitor sees these textures.
15. Hotel Nord Otaru
Hotel Nord Otaru, inaugurated in 1996, is a 6-floor, three times awarded project that looks very different from the other projects of Showa Sekkei, showing how diverse they aim to be with their designs. It has a stone structure with stained glass, and its typology is similar to the typical short buildings of the city of Paris.
Covet Edition. (2020). Greet the Architecture Professionalism of Showa Sekkei. [online] Available at: https://covetedition.com/projects/architecture-showa-sekkei/. [Accessed 7 Jul. 2021].
www.showa-sekkei.co.jp. (n.d.). SHOWA SEKKEI – Projects -. [online] Available at: https://www.showa-sekkei.co.jp/en/project/?pglist=24. [Accessed 7 Jul. 2021].