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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Taito Tourist Center wins Good Design Award

 浅草文化観光センター グッド・デザイン賞

The Good Design Award is a "comprehensive program for the evaluation and encouragement of design organized by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP)." The Good Design Award has a long history in Japan, having begun 55 years ago, in 1957.

Oblique view of the Akaskusa Cultural Tourist Information Center, Taito ward, Tokyo.

The Good Design Award has numerous categories, most of them covering types of consumer product. One of the non-consumer product categories is "Public spaces, architecture and facilities," and this year a special prize was awarded in this category for the Akaskusa Cultural Tourist Information Center located in Taito ward, Tokyo.

The Akaskusa Cultural Tourist Information Center opened in April 2012, right across from Sensoji Temple, the main tourist attraction of the Asakusa area in Taito ward. The Akaskusa Cultural Tourist Information Center is distinguished by its novel architecture that gives the impression of about five wooden houses having been stacked on top of each other. This daring suggestion of random juxtaposition, however, is redeemed by an artful overall balance, making for an unforgettable example of modern architecture that makes optimum use of glass for interior natural brightness, and wood for a warm, hospitable feel.

The three recipients of the Good Design Award 2012 were the architect, Kuma Kengo; the owner, Taito ward, Tokyo; and the construction company, Fujita.

Tokyo SkyTree and environs from the 8th floor of the Akaskusa Cultural Tourist Information Center, Taito ward, Tokyo.
View from the 8th floor of the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center
From its first floor Information Lobby to its seventh floor Exhibition Space and eigth floor Cafe and Viewing Deck, the Akaskusa Cultural Tourist Information Center maintains a feeling of both spaciousness and intimacy throughout, thanks to the use of glass and wood respectively. This makes the Center a perfect example of the Organic Architecture championed by Frank Lloyd Wright, especially with it being located in the laidback east end of Tokyo with its decided egalitarian vibe and friendly atmosphere.

Finally, the Asakusa Cultural Tourist Information Center offers a superb view of not only the Tokyo SkyTree, but the architectural cornucopia that surrounds it, including the distinctive Asahi building with its golden "flame" on the roof.

YouTube Slideshow of Asakusa Cultural Tourist Information Center


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