The Tomochi Forestry Hall in Kumamoto designed by Japanese Architect Taira Nishizawa and completed in 2004 uses local cedar extensively as a symbol of the area’s history of forestry.

Tomochi Forestry Hall technical information

I’m always thinking about the natural environment. That is the big rival for architects. There are so many different varieties or types of environment in the natural world, but in comparison, within architecture there isn’t sufficient variety. We should create different types of space in our buildings.

– Taira Nishizawa1

Tomochi Forestry Hall Photographs

© Makoto Yoshida


© DimDesign


© DimDesign


© DimDesign


© DimDesign


© DimDesign

Tomochi Forestry Hall. Article by Arup.

Located in the green and hilly Kumamoto Prefecture, this hall uses local cedar extensively and is a symbol of the area’s history of forestry.

The two-storey building resembles an irregular chrysalis covered with glass. The unique structure helped architect Taira Nishizawa to the AR Award for Emerging Architecture in 2005.

In planning the structural engineering, Arup aimed to ‘make a complex configuration simple and rational’. Steel and timber members were used in grids intersecting at 45° to form a hybrid structure.

The roof is constructed with steel beams and laminated timber members serving as trusses. The intersecting members form a lattice wall, efficiently distributing forces and reducing the required size of member cross-sections.

Steel was used in place of concrete for the foundations, as the superstructure is relatively light. Steel floor beams are directly connected to steel tubular piles to form the foundation structure.  As steel can easily be reused, this is environmentally friendly and benefits cost and construction time.

Tomochi Forestry Hall Gallery and Plans
Cite this article: "Tomochi Forestry Hall / Taira Nishizawa" in ArchEyes, March 16, 2016,