J. Spot Imabari

This Netz Toyota Ehime showroom and service shop is located on a trunk road in the suburbs of Imabari, Ehime Prefecture.

The client wanted an inviting shop that harmonized well with the surrounding neighborhood. We took advantage of the irregularly shaped lot to erect six side-by-side frames that recede at an angle from the road, thereby improving visibility, blocking western sunlight, and creating green space. Our intention in designing the frames such that they connect lightly to the neighborhood and serve as an intermediate, semi-outdoor zone was to generate a rich roadside space that would be inviting to passersby and contribute to the liveliness of the neighborhood. The iron posts and beams are exposed, but their minimalist aesthetic mutes their presence, highlighting the displays and activity inside.

The central multi-purpose space has six-meter-high ceilings and can be used for events. Its façade is pieced together from rectangles of various sizes, a design that takes into consideration visibility, structure, access, and landscaping. Films with different levels of reflectivity allow the glass to remain transparent but still reduce heat load, while curtains with a motif inspired by the Seto Inland Sea add to the diverse moods the structure presents to the street depending on the weather and time of day. The fusion of structural elements with window frames, as well as the absence of columns or strengthening ribs inside contribute to an impressively open space. The external frame of the curtain wall connects with the frame of the building overall, giving it a light feeling.

The interior of the shop is designed so that one senses its openness to the neighborhood no matter where one stands. The heights and materials of the ceilings, floors, and seating are varied with a wide range of users in mind, resulting in a diverse space. The heterogeneous materials, most of which were locally produced, were chosen for their friendly ambiance and ability to stand up well to the passage of time.

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