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This photosynthesizing “tree” used a new 3D arrangement of photovoltaic cells floated on clear polycarbonate “leaves” unlike the typical flat “turf” or “moss” of horizontal solar panels. The shiny plastic surfaces randomly reflected the plants, lights and arched facades of the courtyard, mixing natural and artificial, historic and contemporary.



  • CorridorIMG01
  • CorridorIMG02
  • CorridorIMG03


Glowing “flowers” made a dynamic contrast to the historic ambience of the cross-vaulted archways. LED-mounted balloon lamps in different sizes and shapes showcased a variety of light qualities. These very contemporary light “blossoms” scattered throughout created an even more magical mood when reflected in the surfaces of the pavilion at night.


  • [form form] Kuramochi+Oguma
  • [alp] Toshiyuki Yano

If the human species is part of the biosphere, then the things we make must also be part of that natural world. No dichotomy. Just as the living order of our world knits together from micro-proteins to macro-forests, I want my architectural spaces to entangle the beautiful diversity of life.

  • Akihisa Hirata
  • Akihisa Hirata

Born in Osaka 1971. Masters in Engineering from Kyoto University in 1997. Worked for Toyo Ito & Associates, then started Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office in 2005. Awards include the 2004 SD Review Asakura Award for House H, 2007 Japan Institute of Architects New Face Award for Masuya Showroom, ELLE DECO Young Japanese Design Talent 2009 for animated knot, and 2nd place in the 2011 Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Popular Music Center International Competition. Chosen to exhibit in the Japan Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition. Sees architecture as weaving “rooms to entangle” within its surroundings to emulate life and vitally engage our physical nature. Active both in Japan and abroad, his writings include Akihisa Hirata: Tangling (Contemporary Architect Concept Series 8, INAX Press, 2011).

  • Interview1 Akihisa Hirata
  • Interview2 Akihisa Hirata
  • Interview3 Akihisa Hirata

You can see the video interview