“Isuzu Motors” has the longest history as a domestic vehicle manufacturer founded in 1916. They supported Japan’s economic development after the war from the field of physical distribution, and now they have development, manufacturing and sales bases of automobiles and diesel engines not only in Japan but over 100 countries around the world.
“Isuzu Plaza”, a corporate museum introducing Isuzu Motors, and the hotel “Plaza Annex”, where trainees and ordinary guests can stay, were built as part of the 80th anniversary of the founding commemoration, adjacent to the Fujisawa Plant, Isuzu Motors’ Mother Factory. These two buildings and the adjacent training facility, “Isuzu Motors Monozukuri Service Training Center” were planned together as “Isuzu Village”, an open place to the community where you can experience Isuzu.
Architecture is constructed based on the keyword “carrying” and “connecting” paraphrased from the corporate philosophy of Isuzu Motors’ “supporting transportation.” Common to each building, a massive white volume floats from the ground and V-shaped pillars on the first floor makes the powerful, extended and continuous landscape of Isuzu Village. An open landscape centered on a plaza that saves symbolic cherry blossoms that have been walking with the history of the Fujisawa Plant for over 50 years is surrounded by these unified buildings. It is a place to connect Isuzu and society as a place where children can experience Isuzu through exhibitions and workshops or a place to learn for trainees gathering from all over the world.
The landscape design of Isuzu Plaza also embodies elements of “carrying” and “connecting” as well as the architecture. We also make the landscape aware of the characteristics of both hardware and software of architecture and internal exhibits, such as the fact that it is a facility opened to the community and the museum that shows Isuzu.
The landscape consists of several layers centered on cherry blossoms as the symbol tree. Outside and the site are gradually separated by low planting bed, to make the appearance looks as if the architecture is built in open park. Along the architecture, we made a water feature with the motif “Isuzu river” which is the origin of the name of the company in the north-south direction to make the boundary without interrupting the sight. On the two approaches to each buildings, a pattern reminiscent of the speed of running vehicles and the bar code that prints physical distribution information are engraved to express the company’s identity. The central garden surrounded by the buildings is covered with rich greenery, creating soft fluctuation and seasonal changes, as contrasted with simple and powerful architecture. Plants are strongly conscious of the surrounding potential natural vegetation, to make a relay point of the green network, and express their commitment to the environment consideration that Isuzu Motors is working on.
Inside the garden, we placed several objects called “plates” shaped like trucks that are simplified as much as possible, as tools to carry and show Isuzu experiences in various ways.
-Water and vehicle plate: A plate with a stream and waterfall flow into the water feature which actual vehicle is exhibited
-Cherry blossom plate: A long table and stools to look up the cherry blossom at the foot of the tree
-Bench plate: A wide bench with wooden seat
-Biotope plate: A plate that shows a biotope on which vegetation and living things imitating the surrounding green spot. Visitors can learn about the surrounding environment.
-Butterfly and bird plate: A plate planted with trees having flowers and fruits which invites butterflies and birds to the garden.
Plates with various scales depending on what they show have the designs common to architecture.
By reducing the powerful volume of architecture to the human scale, they connect architectures and people moderately.
The old cherry blossom, ’Somei-yoshino’ with 20 meters crown in the center of the site had watched over the entrance of Isuzu Motors Technical High School which existed in this place for over 50 years. In order to leave this huge old cherry tree as a symbol tree of the museum, we made a plan to carry out the construction without transplanting it, such as diagnosis by tree doctor, setting of conservation range around the roots and limitation of thorough entry during construction. In the spring time, we hope it will keep blooming together with the row of cherry blossoms along the river nearby and the Fujisawa Plant, to make beautiful scenery and attract us ever after.
Entrant office name: Stgk inc.
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape design
Other design firms involved:
Architecture: Sakakura Associates architects and engineers
Client: Isuzu Motors Ltd.
Photos: Kawasumi Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office Co.,Ltd.
Project location: Kanagawa Japan
Design year: 2015-2016
Year Built: 2017