Winner of Excellent Award from the Commercial Office Category, Hiroshi Hamura + Yuki Hamura

Hosted by NPO Aoyama Design Forum(ADF), the "ADF Design Award 2024" has chosen Hiroshi + Yuki Hamura's work (NOA Kankyo Sekkei), as the Excellent Award in the Commercial Office category. Here is an interview article with them, to introduce the award-winning work and the story behind the designing process.


旭陽電気韮崎工場 / NOA環境設計


旭陽電気韮崎工場 / NOA環境設計


旭陽電気韮崎工場 / NOA環境設計

Please tell us about your background as an architect.

NOA Kankyo Sekkei was established in 1983 by its director, Hiroshi Hamura, and has 40 years of experience mainly in the local Yamanashi Prefecture. We have designed a wide range of architecture for a wide range of uses, staying close to the local community, from residences to factories, schools, and temple facilities. Hiroshi Hamura and Yuki Hamura have a father-son relationship and have been collaborating for 10 years. They aim to create new architecture and landscapes through the accumulation of their father Hiroshi's solid and flexible approach based on his many years of experience and his son Yuki's mutual dialogue based on their design experience in Kyoto and Switzerland.


Yuki Hamura and Hiroshi Hamura

Are there any particular fields or phases of architecture that you specialize in?

Listening to the unvoiced thoughts of the client, the community, and the cultural context, and working together to envision and give form to what should be.

When generating ideas, what inspires you, or do you have a unique philosophy in terms of the method you use to put your thoughts together?

We research the context of the site and surrounding area from multiple perspectives, and consider how the architecture can contribute to the site as well as the required functions from as broad a perspective as possible. We believe that bringing to light the memories of the site and nurturing the landscape for the future together with the local community will lead to the creation of the hometowns of tomorrow. This is an unchanging aspect of our work, whether we are designing a temple or a factory for a cutting-edge industry.

What kind of creativity outside of architecture are you interested in? Do you incorporate any of them into your work?

I have a strong interest in music, almost a longing for it. Beautiful melodies and tones sometimes remind me of light, but on the other hand, there is definitely a spatial quality to architectural spaces that makes me feel the echoes of beautiful sounds from the space I am in. I would like to realize, in a small way, a lifestyle and landscape in which such a quality of space is hidden somewhere in our daily lives.

Could you tell us about the background of this work and the process that led to the final product?

We have been working with the client, Kyokuyo Denki, continuously since the completion of the Miyagi Plant in 2016. Since the completion of the Miyagi Plant, the number of employees has increased dramatically, coupled with the development of the semiconductor field. Nirasaki is the birthplace of Kyokuyo Denki, and the new plant consolidates production bases that were previously dispersed throughout the prefecture to achieve a drastic streamlining of production processes in terms of time, transportation costs, and environmental impact. The plan was initiated to integrate the office and factory, including various welfare facilities, to create a building that is easy to work in and open to the community.


旭陽電気韮崎工場 / NOA環境設計

This site was originally a vineyard, part of which was developed as an industrial park by Nirasaki City. The site offers a wonderful view of the Southern Alps to the west, Mount Fuji to the south, and the Yatsugatake Mountains to the north. In designing this project, we thought it was important to inherit and pass on the memory and landscape of the land that used to be vineyards. A pleasant breeze blows beneath the vineyards and grape trellises, and warm light shines through the leaves and shelves. Based on the design concept of such scenery of sunlight filtering through the trees that used to spread over this area, we came up with a stage (factory) where the workers could take the leading role in this space and be proud of their daily work.


旭陽電気韮崎工場 / NOA環境設計

Kyokuyo Electric first told us that they wanted to make this a factory that they would be proud to show off to the world, and the challenge was how to realize this desire in an architectural form. We also recognized that reducing environmental impact would be increasingly required as a corporate social responsibility, even for production facilities, so we actively used passive design to take advantage of the architectural features of the building. As a result, the design primary energy consumption was reduced by 83% and the BEI value (primary energy consumption standard) was one of the lowest in Japan (BEI=0.17), making it the first factory in Yamanashi Prefecture to acquire NearlyZEB certification.


旭陽電気韮崎工場 / NOA環境設計

In structural design, Dr. Koji Kamitani, professor emeritus at Kyoto University and ADOS, and Mr. Akito Moriyasu, in charge of the same, utilized our originally developed optimal design program to ensure a 25% margin against major earthquakes while maintaining a light and rational large-span frame structure. The roof frame consists of steel and wooden beams in a triangular grid that efficiently transfers seismic forces to braces placed around the perimeter. The roof is material/geometrically related to the wooden production equipment racks (grape racks) and is intended to support various piping and other production equipment as an integral part of the roof, symbolizing the "connecting" image of the grape rack landscape and the harnesses (electric wires) that are the ancestral business of Kyokuyo Electric.

What kind of works would you like to create in the future?

Architecture becomes a unique place in this world when it is nurtured together with the landscape. I would like to create tomorrow's hometowns by considering what architecture can do to respond to the wishes of the local community, taking in the memories and spatiality of the region and passing them on to the next generation in line with the present.

What is your impression of ADF?

ADF is a unique, forward-looking, and appreciated organization that connects design and society from a variety of perspectives.


Fernando Menis (Architect, Jury of ADF Design Award 2024)

I commend the design of the 'Kyokuyo Electric Factory' for its successful integration of architectural elements with the surrounding vineyard landscape. The clever use of wood that replicates grape trellises and the strategic use of natural light, thoughtfully considered in relation to indoor functions, create an atmosphere reminiscent of dappled sunlight. Not only does the design excel in energy efficiency, but it also defines a workplace that encourages interaction and openness. I praise NOA Kankyo Sekkei for delivering a project that stands as a testament to innovative design, thoughtful functionality, and commitment to sustainability.