Sora No Mori Healthcare Center / Tezuka Architects
Photographs: Katsuhisa Kida / FOTOTECA
Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Toto, LIXIL , Microstation, Mitsubishi, Panasonic
“Sora no Mori” is a legally recognized medical facility equipped with the world’s highest level of medical staff and the latest equipment, but the people who come are not sick. I wanted to create a village that would gently help the natural desires of their children.
There used to be a beautiful and deep forest in Okinawa along with architecture that are built from the trees of the forest. Most of those have been lost in the war. This project is an attempt to revive the forest and to create an environment directed towards living amongst nature. Okinawa has a very comfortable climate. Even if the summer sun is strong, if you get close to the shadows, you will be soothed by the refreshing breeze from by the sea. Even in winter, the heat from the sun is sufficient to keep you warm. And during the typhoon seasons, modern structural analysis technology keeps the building stable to enough to withstand the strong winds.
Basically, the climate of Okinawa remains the same and it is the most comfortable environment for people to live in. Through this, we will learn the wisdom of living with nature from traditional Okinawan architecture and to push the boundaries of modern cutting-edge structural technology.
The architecture has deep eaves and wide corridors where nature can be enjoyed from indoors. It is designed such that the rooms could be opened to the outside and to embrace nature from within. Staying cool in under the shade whilst experiencing the Okinawa breeze.
Pavilion is lined up at the end of the road, which is all led to the rich Ryukyu limestone floor of Okinawa. It is a relaxing place to rest and stay after the procedure. The examination room is designed as a large living space for patients to receive consultations. Most of the plants that grown in the garden originates from the Ryukyu islands. The plant types are carefully chosen so that they complement with each other, and that the vegetation exist as a way to deliver a calming scent. ‘’Sora no Mori’’ is an architecture that is fully constructed with timber. Different types of wood are carefully selected for the structure as well as the interior finishes in order to achieve a natural textile quality.
Located in the centre of the design lies a huge windowless building. This is in reference to the base of Shuri Castle surrounded by Ryukyu limestone. It is a high-performance clean room that includes an operating department, egg collection room, artificial insemination room, etc. that make full use of the latest medical technology. The air pressure in each room is controlled, creating a special environment that makes it extremely difficult for bacteria to enter. On the other hand, the operating room and egg collection room, which can be seen by those who can receive treatment, are designed with a wall surface that uses curved lines without corners. Lighting that includes fluctuations controlled by the scene control device creates a relaxing space.
“Sora no Mori” is a message for the future. It is a “nostalgic future” that incorporates cutting-edge technology while learning from the past. In hopes that this attempt will spread beyond the boundaries of the site as a message to the whole of Okinawa or the whole world.