New research complex for Kyoto University
This facility is part of a project undertaken by the University of Kyoto, to develop new research buildings on the Katsura Campus, which is home to the Graduate School of Sciences. Research Building Complex V houses the Global Engineering Departments of the Graduate School of Engineering. The facility is intended, together with other research buildings for the Architecture and Architectural Engineering Departments and the Engineering Science Departments, to form a cluster of research buildings. The project was partially completed in 2006, and the adjacent research building for the Engineering Science Departments is now under construction.
The Katsura Campus is located halfway up the slopes of a hilly area in the Katsura district of Kyoto City. Because this area was originally developed for residential use, it is subject to the City’s landscape preservation regulations, which limit the heights of buildings to 15 metres. Therefore, in consideration of the maximum height restrictions, the architects chose to divide the facility into four low buildings, which are connected to one-another via corridors made of light weighted P/C plates. This is intended to minimise the sense that the surrounding areas are being oppressed by a massive facility.
In addition, efforts were made to assure that the nearby residential area would continue to command as wide a view as possible of the city of Kyoto. The buildings were designed to be built into the hilly terrain’s slopes, and thus quite large laboratories (as extensive as 5,000 sq m) can be accommodated underground. The exterior walls of the facility are clad primarily in stoneware tiles. These tiles are used to provide durability and add to the gravity of the facility, which will increase as they respond gracefully to the passage of time.
Shades of brown are chiefly used, to match the existing buildings on the Katsura Campus and create a sense of unity. The facility entrance hall is made distinctive with rows of cylindrical columns. The facility houses large lecture halls and conference rooms that are suitable for meetings, symposia, seminars, and workshops for scientists, as well as multi-purpose rooms, research rooms, etc. This facility is intended to serve the needs of an international group of Japanese and foreign researchers and technology developers.