Breathing Factory by Takashi Yamaguchi & associates

Breathing aluminum louvers facade

Project Specs


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On the east of the site, the elevated road joint between Osaka and Kyoto where the JR Tokaido line is crossing from the west. It is to be seen a widely spreading switchyard on the same direction of the elevated road. The vicinity of the site is an eclectic gathering from small to medium size of factories, warehouses, trade facilities and housings forming which is the mixed landscape of architectural typologies. The client is a company holder who is running an experiment about the safety of medicine by planning and developing tools and equipment for medical purposes. The requested program was about the reconstruction of the factory by giving two different options. Firstly, the completion of the existing part of the building and then the construction of the whole part of the program and design was expected.

▼工厂外观,exterior view of the factory

▼工厂与场地东侧的高架路,the factory and the elevated road on the east of site


The building body is covered with a delicate membrane constituted of aluminum louvers in order to avoid showing the disgusting clustered pipes. Concerning the maintenance ease, the louver aperture ratio and the space behind those offer a proper access to the pipes system. The reconstruction was also an experimental way to reduce as much as possible the impact on the neighborhood of the intimidating volume of the uninteresting factory. To attain to this result, the louver’s angles, and horizontal or vertical directions are directed by randomized mathematical rules.

▼立面覆盖一层精致的铝制百叶窗,百叶窗角度由数学规则随机性生成,the building body is covered with aluminum louvers and the louver’s angles, horizontal or vertical directions are directed by randomized mathematical rules


The first floor is divided into conference room, reception, office, management office and warehouse. On the second and the third floors, there are gathering functional spaces like a production spaces as the fabrication department and development department which are vertically joined as a “rift” system that break the frontier between the two floors. The fourth floor was allotted to the one room with a large meeting space which can be responded to the office for design research and the development and various seminars and meetings.

▼工厂内部室内空间,interior space in the factory

▼空间细节,space detail


▼连接三四层的“光庭”空间,玻璃幕插入水平和垂直向的开口中,the “light court” linking the third and fourth floors, glass screen inserted into the verticals and horizontals openings

Some of the horizontally directed louvers are reflecting the moving clouds in the blue sky or the cars light crossing the street into the night. By moving the point of view, by looking at some of the vertically directed louvers, the segmented perception of the neighborhood’s image is changing. By reflecting the changing nature and vicinity scene of the building, this effect is fragmenting the building and his environment perception and this while preserving a form of human presence feeling. The same principle goes for the void “light court” linking the relaxation spaces on the third and fourth floors. By using the glass screen inserted into the verticals and horizontals openings, the image of the nature enters into the inside of the building. The glass screens take, transform and bring a sort of virtual image of the everyday life from the outside into the monotony filled inner space of the factory.

▼夜晚建筑景象,night view of the factory

▼外立面反射着夜晚的灯光,some of the horizontally directed louvers reflect the light at night

▼轴测图,axonometric drawing

Project name: Breathing Factory
Design: Takashi Yamaguchi & associates
Contact e-mail:
Design year: 2006-2008
Completion Year : 2009
Leader designer: Jun Murata
Project location: Osaka, Japan
Gross Built Area: 2300㎡
Photo credits: Jun Murata

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