Yunosato Aquaphotomics Laboratory / Cloud Architecture Office
Text description provided by the architects. Aquaphotomics is a field of science that studies spectral models of water as a source of holistic information for biological and aqueous systems. The Yunosato installation is an Aquaphotomics research laboratory where the interactions of water and light are explored.
The entry sequence is a transition from familiar rectilinear shapes to smoother, taller curves that open up to the view of Mount Koya, a World Heritage-listed temple settlement site and the sacred center of esoteric Buddhism in Japan.
The research center extracts the mineral-rich spring water flowing under the site. A triangular glass floor in the gallery echoes the spring, widening the space downwards, creating a floating sensation. Under the glass floor, a textured mirror refracts light to create a luminous background for a suspended model of a water molecule. The combination of the conical roof and the transparent floor creates depth and movement in the small space.
The main wall of the conference room is large-scale art glass that reflects light and casts flowing reflections across the room. A custom-designed conference table with a corrugated steel support frame rests on an oak floor that extends to the terrace, connecting the interior and exterior, expanding the space.
A curvilinear void between the gallery and the conference room is subtracted using a spherical geometry to connect the two spaces. Seen from different points of view, the spherical vacuum appears in different forms: from the crescent, from the semi-circle to the full sphere, suggesting the phases of the moon. In Japan, moonlight is associated with the creation of life and is believed to imbue the water with the breath of the universe. This cosmology formed the fundamental vision of this installation and inspired the concept of design to be lived both spatially and symbolically.