Nara Convention Center

Nara, Japan / 1999

“But the paneled room folded itself through a dozen impossible angles, tumbling away into cyberspace like an origami crane.”

William Gibson Neuromancer

The design of the Nara Convention Hall attempts to become a symbiosis of Nara’s history and future. The historical essence of Nara, as exemplified in the Noh drama, the Tea ceremony, and Floral arrangement, embodies the notion of presentation. Upon its completion, the Hall will be the centerpiece of the Nara Urban Redevelopment Program. The future role of the Convention Hall as an international cultural center is analogous to the Urban Redevelopment’s role as a gateway to Nara. This relationship is re-presented as a two dimensional site text that articulates a proposed future. In the traditional Japanese artform of origami, a three dimensional volume/space is produced through the cutting and folding of a two dimensional text. Embodying this idea of presentation, the site text is manipulated through a series of reflections and folds, to create a three dimensional symbol for Nara.

This method of architectural production has allowed for a non traditional manifestation of the theater morphology. The origami exploration allows the program elements and interstitial spaces to be woven into a bar typology. This resultant form is skewered by a glass enclosed circulation system that forms an edge of the urban plaza and allows entry to convention hall.



Project Credits:

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Joseph Tanney, Robert Luntz

Architects: Gary Shoemaker
Collaborators: Tom Lewis, Mel Felix



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