Last year, a brand new community center and library opened to the public in Gifu, located in central Japan. On the morning of the opening ceremony, over 300 people waited out in the rain to see Minna no Mori (“Everyone’s Forest”) Gifu Media Cosmos – the library of the future.
The structure and its interior was designed by architect Toyo Ito and is characterized by an undulating latticed wooden ceiling. Numerous curved globes act and look like giant lamp shades as they filter natural sunlight into the space while also defining the circular “knowledge hubs” they encapsulate. The space is a visual depiction of the facility’s concept: “From roots to branches, may our knowledge grow and blossom as we plant new seeds for the future.”
However, Gifu Media Cosmos is much more than just a library. And a signage campaign by Kenya Hara helps make the vast multipurpose facility, which includes a gallery space and community exchange activity center on the ground level, easily identifiable and accessible. “Graphic patterns were applied to the giant umbrellas made of triaxial woven fabric,” says Hara, referring to the hanging domes. This forms “the starting point for spatial recognition.”
“We worked to integrate the signage with the building space, including the 3D map providing an overview of the entire space, directional signs inlaid into the linoleum, and signs that can be viewed from any direction.” – Kenya Hara
(thanks to Rumi for the tip!)