Natural curves

A new outdoor pavilion follows the curvature of the landscape on the campus of the Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Designed by Nendo in collaboration with Tokyo-based architect Ryue Nishizawa, this small pavilion on the campus of the Kyoto University of Art and Design "is intended to remind visitors of walking in the mountains under thick tree cover."

On a clear day from the site of the pavilion, students will be able almost to count the 36 crests of the hills that line Kyoto's eastern edge. The adjacent area is earmarked for a new grove of Japanese plum trees.

Nishizawa used a single roof in the pavilion's design. The roof is inclined subtly to follow the angle of the site.

Dipping under it, visitors realise that the roof is also a wall.

"Our mushroom-like stools for the space were handmade by artisans to slightly different shapes and sizes, giving a more natural effect. The stools' layout - clustered at the base of pillars, or in the nooks and crannies by stone walls and staircases - evokes the way that mushrooms grow in the wild, and details like a handrail that transforms into a mushroom continue the metaphor," says a statement issued by the Japanese design studio.

"We wanted to design architectural elements that would ‘grow’ naturally from the space, rather than to put furniture in a room."