cheungvogl's design for KAT-Ohno inspired by Plato's definition of symposium
Architecture firm cheungvogl’s design proposal for the KAT-Ohno structure is currently being put into practice after it won an invited competition for the project. The development site is surrounded by four office buildings, which will be given a consistent appearance by refurbishment of new cladding systems and upgrading to meet modern standards. The master plan includes an extension of a new forum to provide flexible spaces for training seminars, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings etc.
The idea behind the design is based on Plato’s definition of ‘symposium’ as a ‘philosophical dialogue, dealing with love and the vision of absolute beauty’. In response to this classic reference, cheungvogl wanted to create a new place of symposium which is less about mass and structure, less visible and less defined. As a result of this, they attempted to move away from the everyday conventional ‘meeting rooms’ on the KAT-Ohno project.
On the ground floor, an open sheltered space has been designed for public use, which is to act as an outdoor meeting room. This shaded auditorium is intended to create potential for creative collaboration and interaction during lunch break and between meetings or exhibitions. Within the building is a primary neutral white space, which has been visually disconnected from the outside to avoid any unwanted visual obstructions or changing quality of natural light. The white room is to act as a neutral backdrop for a variety of events, including exhibitions, presentations and film screenings. A simple structural grid format allows movable walls to act as divisions between rooms, enabling more flexibility to play with smaller volumes inside the big white room, providing an ever-changing space. Through the atrium on the ground floor, the public can freely access the roof terrace to discover a quiet, contemplative space defined by the cityscape; from the ground however, the white volume is seen as an invisible layer.