Datong Theater - Construction Site

 

The State of Qatar New Embassy Building and Residence


2013

Tokyo, Japan

Embassy

Competition


Total Floor Area: 12,366 sqm

The design approach for the State of Qatar's new Embassy Building and Residence has relied on key concepts in the development of an architectural design befit of this prestigious facility.

Sense of Arrival
Creating a sense of arrival is one of them. The first view that a visitor encounters upon entering the Embassy site is a gorgeous front garden, a rarity in any new embassy building in the middle of Tokyo. This majestic garden welcomes visitors to the premise and at the same time speaks of the State of Qatar's cultural richness, history and heritage, as well as the high world standing it has earned over the years. This is all made possible through the meticulous articulation of the building massing. The guest rooms, meeting rooms, large dining areas, and lecture hall are placed in a sunken floor with an internal courtyard, while the main embassy volume, housing the offices and administration section, is raised up in the air, freeing as such a lot of the site area at ground floor for landscape and scenic greenery.

Shakkei(Borrowed Scenery)
Not only does one experience lush landscape within the premise, but without as well. This is achieved through the concept of Shakkei (borrowed scenery), a historic landscape technique prevalent in most of Japan's famous historic gardens. Shakkei incorporates distant vistas into the composition of the garden allowing them to appear as part of the garden itself. This is particular to the way the presidential suite is laid out on top of the floating embassy mass. Its strategic orientation allows it to absorb and draw in the view of the lush forests of the Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park and the neighboring German Embassy.

Shelter
Shelter is another concept that figures into the design approach of the Embassy premise. One of the important roles embassies play is providing shelter and evacuation space for its citizens in case of disasters and emergency. The planning of the New Embassy for the State of Qatar, as the section shows, accounts for this role by providing sufficient areas in the highly secured underground space.

Seismic Base Isolation
Given the seismic activities in Japan, the Embassy building is not only made to hold an earthquake resistance 1.5 times more than the standard regulation, the floating Embassy Volume adopts the world's latest seismic base isolation technology, protecting not only the lives of the Qatari staff, citizens, and visitors, but also the priceless items within the building, fulfilling its additional mentioned role as a secure and reliable shelter.

Finally, The Embassy architecture connects with the State of Qatar's local architecture and heritage through use of Islamic patterned walls and screens, in an innovative manner that does not simply mimic the classical patterns but provides a contemporary reinterpretation of these patterns that evokes the past and at the time projects into the future.