a small rest stop by kengo kuma
kengo kuma & associates unveils a humble intervention dubbed ‘oath hill park’ to shizuoka. the area marks the home of mount fuji, japan’s highest peak. with its hot springs, waterfalls, and forested foothills surrounding the iconic volcano, the place is a major hiking destination. with the spirit of its natural surroundings, the design team at KKAA introduces a public restroom which both services hikers and campers while resonating harmoniously with its backdrop — the soaring profile of mount fuji.
images © ︎kawasumi・kobayashi kenji photograph office
the roof structure
the architects at kengo kuma & associates define the oath hill park rest areas by their roofs. the humble structures suggest a tiny mountain range, cloaked in a translucent white skin which recalls a snow-capped peak by day and a luminous beacon by night. the project celebrates its timber structure as wooden beams and columns fan out into an ‘umbrella’ form that shows inspiration from the parabolic ridgeline of mount fuji. these beams and columns are held together by steel rings at the center while a rigid frame joins these umbrellas along a shared edge.
the materiality of oath hill park
designing its oath hill park restrooms, kengo kuma ensures that each structural material contributes in a different manner — the wood gives flexibility, the steel rigidity, and the roof membrane permeates light giving the arbor a welcoming warmth. the wooden structure is covered with a membrane finished with a fluorinated coating for weather-proofing while at night, the wooden structure is silhouetted against the moonlit forests of shizuoka.
backdropped by mount fuji, the roofs show their influence
the project offers shade and services with minimal impact to the landscape