A Sustainable Museum dedicated to Sake with a demonstration Daigingo-Shu Brewery in Kyoto, Japan

This Studio brings together Architect Andy Bow, Senior Partner at Foster and Partners in London, Environmental Engineer Patrick Bellew, Principal of design consultancy Atelier Ten and Timothy Newton of the YSOA who have together delivered three previous Saarinen Advanced Studios with a particular emphasis on sustainability and sustainable design.

The task for this studio will be to work with this multi-faceted team to design a world class sustainable building in the Fushimi district of Kyoto, integrating the functions of a Sake brewery with a Museum and associated publicly accessible facilities including a café/restaurant, shop and other touristic attractions as the student sees fit.

The Studio will be a challenging one as we will be seeking projects to demonstrate outstanding design appropriate to region and function, architectural quality and resolution, and the verification of design proposals and the development and testing of ideas to the highest international standards of sustainable design.

At the same time, we will be developing designs for a place where history meets production—where the character, climate and produce of the building is the draw that brings people in, whether they be history or sake lovers, in competition with the rest that the city has to offer. The Brewery will be the biggest physical component and will have demanding production requirements, but it is through the mix of production and attraction that the story of the projects will be played out.

Studio Outline

The studio will develop designs for a medium sized sake brewery that will produce a product to the highest Daigingo-Shu grade, requiring a high degree of manual production and great care and skill in production. This grade of Sake makes up just 3.9% of the market and is the ultimate in the Sake making craft. The brewery should be capable of producing up to 25,000 bottles of sake per annum.

Attached to the brewery will be a Museum and archive space dedicated to the history of Sake making in Kyoto, together with a retail space and a café/high end restaurant with approximately 60 covers accessible to visitors and non-visitors alike. Back of house facilities will include a small conservation laboratory, staff welfare facilities, office space, kitchen and food production/storage areas.

Visitor facilities should include a beautiful presentation space, tasting room and retail outlet to facilitate tours around the building so that visitors get a clear understanding of the processes involved. The process of making and manufacture of the Sake product should be a part of the experience of the exhibition and should be visible and comprehensible to visitors.

As part of the project you should also develop branding and marketing materials for your Sake complex.

The studio critics will particularly focus on the following in the delivery of the project:

Innovative and beautiful design which should be inspiring to visitors but relevant to the local area and climate, and to Kyoto and Sake in particular.
Environmental respect and sustainability. The design must be centered around the development of a design proposal that addresses issue of social, economic and environmental sustainability design in a holistic and integrated way.
Commercial viability, both in a pure operational sense, but also from a point of view of being able to attract visitors and have an element of uniqueness about it.

Sustainability and Architecture

Into the future—how can we create more balanced economies in the future? How do we develop our nations and use our resources in a more sustainable way? And, how do developing countries cope with an increase in tourist demands in the years to come to sustain their ancient cities and at the same time adapt to a new world order? It is increasingly recognized that it is through the careful development of their specific and historic assets, often based around regional produce and crops and their preservation rather than destruction that their future can be more sustainably assured.

Why Kyoto?

To understand Kyoto is to understand the land itself.“ Kyoto was the Imperial capital city of Japan from the 8th to the 18th Century and is known as the thousand-year capital. Born of a desire to escape the curse of the former capital (Nara) by the Emperor Kammu, the positioning of the city was determined by geomancy and the layout modelled on the fabled capital of China. Initially named Heian-Kyo: City of Peace and Tranquility the new city was shielded on three sides by mountains to the north, west and east with south flowing rivers on the east and west and a large body of water to the south.

The humid sub-tropical climate is sometimes described as ‘challenging’—located in a vast ancient marshland the topography and continental location far from the sea produces extreme conditions with extremely cold winters and very hot, humid summers. A particular challenge to designers of low carbon buildings. The high rainfall means that vegetation is abundant and the city is famed for it’s blossom and flowers as well as the Geisha (locally Geiko) that are among Japan’s most celebrated. The masterplan for the city included six canals that pass through the urban areas, supplied from more than 3000 wells. Temples and Gardens abound and the residue of the 1000 years of leadership is a rich and diverse historical context into which we seek to insert a building of today.

Our product, Sake, has been produced in the Kyoto region since the 8th Century, and has always had a strong focus in the rituals and life of the Japanese society. The centre of sake production lies to the south of the city in the district of Fushimi, an area that we will visit and study as part of our studio trip. The area is blessed with water of the highest quality for Sake making, rich in Calcium and Potassium.

The citizens have a strong appetite for history, architecture and the arts and the region presents a multitude of contrasts from ancient to modern, which the students can draw on in considering appropriate design concepts.

All Semesters

Spring 2019
Advanced Design Studio
Yolande Daniels, Gary He
Spring 2018
Advanced Design Studio: Heneghan Peng
Róisín Heneghan, Shih-Fu Peng, Eugene Han
Spring 2016
Advanced Design Studio: Home is a Four Letter Word
Pier Vittorio Aureli, Emily Abruzzo
Spring 2015
Advanced Design Studio: Masses to Flesh. Surfaces to Flowers
Hernan Diaz Alonso, Austin Samson