In the infinite lavender’s expanses of the Hokkaido central region, the Japanese architect has designed an “entrance way” to Farm Tomita in Biei. Without any landmark at the entrance to the farm, the large line of people, cars, and buses caused a certain amount of confusion. The visionary Jun Igarashi Architects decided to create a signal or gate for the main entrance.
The pre-existing farm buildings shared a set of characteristics. This was particularly true of the barns. I attempted to abstract the form of the barn roofs and understand what it is that made the barns seems so similar. I wanted to increase the buildings’ visibility without using bright colours. My idea was to raise visibility by manipulating the shadows thrown by the buildings. Our eyes are often drawn to shadows and this helps to reveal the form of a building. This approach brought its own problems, however, in particular the need to avoid introducing too many buildings and cluttering the site. In the end, I arranged the buildings according to size: the shadows cast by the larger buildings are, of course, larger and this draws attention towards the gate.