International Friendship Pavilion, EXPO ’90 International Garden and Greenery Exposition
1988 - 1990
Building Area: 2,107 sqmTotal Floor Area: 5,792 sqm
This is an exhibition facility as a pavilion for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition held in Tsurumi Green Park, Osaka, in 1990. From the beginning it was planned to preserve the building, even after the exposition ended, as a memorial facility; originally Mr. Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, organized the Garden and Greenery Foundation by his private investment, establishing the plan for a building to be the symbol of the friendship with other countries; this building was realized.
The main factor to define the building's composition is its location. The fact that it was constructed within an urban park and the initial program concerned the exposition of garden; they naturally introduced the Belvedere, one of the typologies of garden architecture in Western countries.As Belvedere means "the building with a wonderful view," the building stands at the summit of a hill and provides a view of the garden, while at the same time it can be viewed from its surroundings.
The program which organizes the pavilion, offers, roughly, three facilities, including an auditorium, able to accommodate 300 people for events and meetings, a lobby with a balcony offering views of the entire park, and an exhibition space. Among these, the auditorium is a rectangular "black box" type of hall edged by two stories of galleries. Its primitive form serves as a gathering place. The hall's floor, walls, and ceiling can be easily changed, according to need, while the auditorium is a dynamic responsive space with a highly controlled lighting system. The exhibition, raised to the top level is cantilevered 20 meters, and filled with filtered natural light; it is a quiet and twilight space. Although the four sides of the space are covered with glass, it is not completely transparent as the glass is composed of two layers of special glass with ceramic dots fused to the plates and with frosted glass. The sunlight enters the space through the screen of perforated metal panels fitted to the ceiling. In this way, the hall has a very strict control of natural light to imitate the homogeneous distribution of light at twilight. At night, the built-in lighting within the walls and ceiling causes the space to be lit up like a lantern thereby expressing the two different phases of day and night.