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Interior design project for the new art gallery “cassette” in Tojinmachi, Fukuoka City. While taking advantage of its complexity, the existing building, originally built in the 1980s, was renovated into a new gallery to exhibit contemporary art. The site of the project was a reinforced concrete building consisting of three levels, two above ground and one below. While the exterior is a simple white box-like appearance, the interior is a unique space with a complex layout of RC walls and stairs, giving the impression of a labyrinth. Our goal was to maintain the exterior as it was while utilizing the complexity of the interior as needed to create a wide variety of spaces and changes that would bring out the character of the existing architecture.

One of the features of the original building was a large slit on the east side of each floor, which allows light to penetrate from the rooftop to the basement. Furthermore, on the first floor, lighted areas were divided by interior glass windows, and we decided to take advantage of this unique inner terrace-like environment. The countertops and benches were cast in concrete to match the atmosphere of the space. Each of these elements were united in a dark red color to create a calm atmosphere of a lounge space. The floor carpet was extended to the inner terrace to add depth to the entire space. The low tables, border lighting, and other elements were originally created for this space.

The gallery space on the second floor, on the other hand, was the brightest space among all the floors, and this was emphasized by finishing the walls and ceiling in pure white. The staircase, which had been closed off like a stairwell, has had the walls removed and a new handrail installed to create a sense of openness in the line of flow. The stair landing was covered with a dark blue carpet that contrasts with the first floor, and an original bench of the same color was installed to create a small gathering place. The floors of the first and second floors had been partially hollowed out for EV shafts during past renovations, but we decided not to repave them and instead sealed them with glass to allow the floors to function as a light-filled space and to create a sense of connection between the upper and lower floors.

In constrast to the second floor the, flooring and ceiling of the gallery space on the basement was left as is was,  with only a touch of paint added to the structure. Only the walls, lighting, and other facilities were rearranged to create a coexistence of ruggedness and tension unique to this basement.

For the three originally complex floors, various considerations were made, including the reorganization of necessary facilities, fixtures, the control of finishes, and the nuances of each scene on each floor were subtly changed to add more diversity to the building interior. The building is over 30 years old and had been unused for several years. It will be brought back to life once again as a new base for a gallery.

Client: cassette
Type of Project: Interior
Use: Gallery
Period: Mar 2022 – Sep 2022
Floor Area: 238.86m2
Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Design: Koichi Futatsumata, Koichi Shimohira, Mitsuki Kuboyama(CASE-REAL)
Construction: Ob
Lighting Plan: Tatsuki Nakamura(BRANCH LIGHTING DESIGN)
Photo: Hiroshi Mizusaki

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