Every architectural marvel has been designed by an architect or a firm that relies on its design principles to design and create unique masterpieces. The architectural studio of Showa Sekkei was founded in 1957 and focused on a broad area of services, including architecture, urban design, environment and all related consulting services. Over the last 60 years, their approach to architectural design has evolved due to the ever-changing technology and knowledge accumulated from their experiences. The main goal of the architectural studio of Showa Sekkei is to bring the client’s dreams to life, using their wide network to create and maintain using their construction, building operation, surveying and planning departments. It is important to note that for any architectural firm to be in this competitive world, it has to be able to withstand changes in construction technology and methods and requirements. Thus it is praiseworthy to state that the studio of Showa Sekkei has been evolving over the decades to create the best sustainable solutions for every field ranging from housing, educational centres, cultural spaces, and commercial centres to production spaces by understanding the current and future needs of clients. To understand how the architectural studio of Showa Sekkei provides such unique solutions, let us first understand the studio’s structure and functioning.
Showa Sekkei, Incorporated was founded on October 10th, 1957, and over the years has been developed into an architectural studio with over 210 employees with offices in Tokyo, Sendai, Shanghai and Kyushu and a headquarters in Osaka. Their office is associated with other companies such as E&S Engineering Co. Ltd, S-plan Co. Ltd, STC Co. and Kis-s. The below chart shows the overall structure of the organisation. Due to their broad scope of work, they have received several licenses and certifications and also handle several categories of work such as architectural design, structural design, environmental design, landscape design, cost management and construction supervision.
The architects handle all types of projects by understanding the functions, requirements, and needs of the client and other considerations that are involved in the design such as the safety, comfort, maintenance, cost, thermal comfort, etc. to create sustainable buildings that add value to the users, client, context and society. The architectural design covers all aspects of a design, right from the planning to the services. They also overlook the construction part as it plays a vital role in the overall finished design.
Architectural and structural design go hand in hand. By having their very own structural design team, it is very easy to use innovative modern technologies to create architectural marvels. This helps in designing a complete building by understanding the architectural needs and site conditions as every information is easily available within a firm. The architectural studio has a smooth workflow because of the various branches within the company, which is seen through their multiple flawless projects.
In today’s world, it is very crucial to design sustainable designs to reduce the carbon footprint and the resources and energy consumed. It is important to consider the functioning of a building after construction, as operation and maintenance should be easy and less consuming, such that the performance is energy efficient. By having architects specialising in sustainability in an architectural studio, the design process becomes efficient as the sustainability design elements can be included right from an earlier stage which can have a huge impact on the final design. By introducing several environment-friendly initiatives, using environmental simulation and evaluation to design and create energy-efficient buildings.
Landscape plays a major part in every architectural design. This helps in creating landscape features that go along with the overall design and also helps in choosing plants specific to the area.
Based on the proposed design, the cost management experts come up with an estimation which states the overall construction stages and budget. The cost is calculated based on the stages, materials used, amount of work done and amount of resources consumed. These are calculated based on the cost of materials and socio-economic conditions of the area.
Every project has to be supervised to achieve a quality end product. The construction supervision team ensures transparency between the design, on-site and estimation teams. This team has to ensure that all the drawings released by the architects and engineers have been followed to the last detail. Any changes in the design during construction have to be mentioned to this team so that the final built structure exceeds the client’s expectations.
“As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” – Norman Foster
It is undeniable that the needs of society keep changing. By having a close connection with the society, the architectural studio of Showa Sekkei has been providing design solutions from the housing scale to the urban scale. For them, design solutions should meet present and futuristic needs and should also provide meaning to society and have a positive impact on the environment. Their motto is to have a company with a healthy work environment and employees so that the output provided will be a reflection of that and that can in turn make the developing society a better place to live.
Due to their accomplishments in the field of architecture, they have been able to work on different projects such as public buildings, educational, research and training facilities, museums, libraries, sports, healthcare, commercial buildings, production and distribution centres, religious planning, hotels and restaurants, urban planning, water and sewage systems, redevelopment projects and several other overseas projects. To understand their design process, let us take a look at a few of their projects.
Kannabe Spa, ‘Yutorogi’
This is a leisure facility which is completely environment friendly with Jacuzzis, hot tubs and saunas. To induce heat, they are using biomass as it is highly renewable. The spaces are planned based on the views and they are placed in such a way that the pools are in private open and semi-open spaces. Right from the materials and colours used, the architects have given deep thought to selecting them such that they provide a calm and safe environment.
This huge park has been designed in such a way that it adds to the existing green space of the locality. Entries have been planned based on traffic congestion and views from the main road. This design has been awarded the “Parks & Open Space Association Award”. By providing smaller pockets of landscaping through curved pathways, it gives the users a different experience in each smaller pathway, which is refreshing and soothing and is also helpful in allocating each pocket for a different variety of plants.
From the above, it is clear that the architectural studio of Showa Sekkei is well structured and capable of handling any type of project. They have well adapted to the current needs of society and have been providing exemplary solutions unique to every project.
Title: SHOWA SEKKEI. Available at: https://www.showa-sekkei.co.jp/en/#. Accessed date: 26/06/2022