Komazawa Control Tower 1:20 Model

Japan House Gallery,
London, UK, 2021
Autocad; Sketchup; Rhino; 

Type of project:
Collaboration project
Ankita Pinot, Aia Sakr, Ardini Azzah, Beidi Yu, Chenhui Bao, Dana Almasri, Jagoda Bugaj, Kaavya Elango, Khadija Qureshi, Keseniya Silant’eva, Meng Wang, Mihaela Nenescu, Selina Johnson, Sicong Li, Xing Sun (Sun Star), Yi Hao Lee (Jayden), Yifie Ouyang and Yasmin Saad with the support of Course Leader Amritt Flora, Taylor Huggins Studio Manager of Material and Spatial Arts and the entire team of  3D fabrication studio;

On 5 August 2021, Japan House London inaugurated the Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow Exhibition, synchronized with the Olympics Games 2021 taking place in Tokyo Japan. The exhibition explores the pioneering design strategy and lasting legacy of the historic Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, the first to be held in Asia, considered a turning point for Japan. Part of the exhibition is the model representation of the Komazawa Olympic Park Control Tower; an architectural masterpiece by  Yoshinobu Ashihara.

The 2.7 meters tall Architectural model (1:20 scale) is crafted to the finest details and combines a mix of techniques in order to represent its personality. The initial process of the model making involved interpreting the original handmade drawings. After adjusting the measurements, a process of categorisation of elements has started. The core and hashtag beams were made as two separate interlocking components that fitted into each other to create one unit. Eleven units were then threaded together by a metal rod, affixed into the base unit; 
The iconographic spiral staircase and railings were 3D printed in a gunmetal grey filament; reminiscent of the steel used in the original tower. The balustrades were hand-bent and molded out of metal wire. These fine details were then affixed in grooves that were carved into the model. The back tiled core walls were represented by engraving the pattern onto the panels. The tower floats over a translucent basin, denoting the original site where the tower stands today. The waterbody on the base is defined by a  seamless dotted pattern, representing the water ripples. Due to budget constraints, a quick solution-based thinking and adaptability drove us to hand-imprint the dots, without compromising the representation characteristics of the tower.

Our main goal while working on the details, was keeping the natural aspect of the wood in order to transmit the idea of honesty that the brutalist tower represents. We tested different ratios of varnish and Japanese ink, toning the two sides of the tower in a way that still reads the wood texture and highlights the grain.