K-Zone

Kanseki is a Japanese distribution chain of stores similar to K-Mart or Walmart.  Located adjacent to corporate headquarters, this project is the first in a series of much expanded services that include: housewares, pet store, bicycle shop, fast foot, automotive, etc.  The site is located at the edge of Utsonomiya City, at an elevated highway coming into the city: thus, the site enjoys great prominence.

The program calls for accessibility to the automobile with both indoor and outdoor marketability (and visibility).  The concept posits and understanding of the building’s plan in elevation.  Through scaling (grid reduction), the three plan shifts (relating to the site irregularity) are reiterated in elevation, in order to make the plan accessible visually to the those approaching the building.  Future expansion is made possible by appending additional function on the shorter of the two wings, such that upon eventual completion, the two bars face each other for ease of shopping.  The first of two bridges is in the first stage, with two aria (each with its own cashier station control) occupying this vertical circulation site.

The structure of the building is poured in place concrete with aluminum store front grids (with metal panels and/or glass) facing the perimeter.  The shifting grids also act as the building’s signage.  Each of the three plan shifts is also made graphically clear through each having its own color identity.