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Kashima-Machi City Hall

Kumamoto, Japan

Design/Construction 1995-1997

Building Area: 1,863.37m²
Total Floor Area: 4,123.51m²
Reinfored Concrete
3 Stories

Kashima-city is located to the south of Kumamoto-city at a travel distance of only 15 minutes by car. This area is a peaceful countryside between the Kase- River to the North and Midori-River to the South. This city is well known for a water pond called Uki-Jima. The element of water formed an important part of the design for the Kashima-Machi City Hall.

Kashima-machi City Hall is located in the center of a rice field area. The floor plan of this hall is a round plan with a square court in the center of the circle; it is separated with straight diagonal lines and shifted to create dissymmetry. It resembles the geometric patterns, which are carved out of red-ocher colored stone on the walls of Idera old tomb. The Idera Old Tomb is located at distance of 1500m in the northwest from this city hall.

This building is composed of three floors with an assembly hall and some related rooms on the 3rd floor. The red-ocher colored stone exterior walls of this building are tilled outwards and appear floating on the pond. Most of the visitors cross the pond through a bridge leading toward to the entrance hall covered by glass.

At the bottom of the pond surrounding the building, you can see some geometric patterns made with stones produced in the neighborhood, which are representations of carvings from Idera old tomb and some ripple patterns through the wavering pond water. At the edge of the pond at the left side before entering the bridge, which leads towards the entrance hall, you can also see the patterns of local produced stones, representing the town map.

The square pattern of the courtyard continues in the wood-flooring corridor at the first floor, which surrounds the courtyard. It aims to unify the courtyard and the interior. At the edge of the courtyard, water flows through a bowl at corner of the entrance hall from the pond connecting to the outside. At the courtyard, we can enjoy holding some meeting there.