Gushikawa Orchid Center is a biotechnology company located on Okinawa Island, about three hours by plane south of Japan's main island. This project provided it a new headquarters building with office space and additional production facilities. The design also aimed at symbolizing its unique corporate image of a rapidly growing, cutting-edge technology firm that was developing business for the global market from a rural agricultural area. The design solution is a long concrete shaft at its base with a special visitor's lounge area cantilevered on its top. It hovers over the carpet of silver roofs of existing glasshouse complex used for producing orchids and other plants as base materials for their biotechnology operation. The use of computer graphics technology played an essential role throughout the process of design and construction. The three-dimensional, photo-realistic representation not only helped develop the design among the architects and engineers geographically distributed in Boston, Okinawa and Tokyo, but also proved to be very useful later for sharing the proposal with the client and for evaluating its form as a symbol of its new business model. Final images were provided to the contractors to help workers get the sense of finished building and its tectonic details.
Architect: Takehiko Nagakura
Design Team: Takeshi Tokuyama (Kuniken Co. Ltd.)
Katsuhiko Kurima (Kuniken Co. Ltd.)
Haldane Liew (Liew Design)
Awards: SD Review Award, 1998
Publication: Shinkenchiku, March, 2000 (pp116-125)