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Irish Embassy International Competition

Our vision to create an exemplary design for an Irish House in Tokyo, came from a study of what it means to be Irish and the connection of precise things that make us so culturally rich and diverse. 

Irish born Patrick Lafcadio Hearn played so much of a distinctive role in life and his influence on Japanese literature and scholarship. His story is a heroic saga and a narrative that can be traced to all of Ireland’s diaspora. We brought Hearn to the fore of our house design and placed the library of Hearn’s books at the very front of the scheme, so literature and stories can continue a conversation throughout the building. This means Hearn can be omnipresent, like his stories -  they are ethereal but grounding us to a place.

All sketches for doccument Copy

We approached the brief in three district volumes or houses. This breaks up the scale of the Irish house and creates an approachable building that can be navigated clearly.

The three volumes are the Embassy, Enterprise Offices and the Representational Hub. These relate to central spine in the space between them; a focal point for exchange that connects a line from the street and pulls people into the heart of our scheme.

Ireland House sits directly across from the planned recreational area of the redevelopment. This planted public garden should be utilised as an extension of Ireland House. With such a rare piece of greenery on our doorstep in one of the largest cities in the world, we wanted to reach out a hand and bring the outside into our house. We designed from the inside out, and from the outside in, using a cranked almost funnelling central procession between the three volumes, acting as river, fastening the flow of visitors and drawing the outside landscape into the heart of the scheme.

Test render colour

Here in the sunken conference space that can be separated into 3 zones, which are places of conversation, exchange, and exhibition, which can demonstrate Irish craft, design, culture and diplomacy. Ireland’s foreign policy is also much about us as a people.

We have a proud tradition of principled engagement on issues such as development, peacekeeping, and human rights. This is a central part of Ireland’s foreign policy. A secure and prosperous Ireland is better placed to make its voice heard in support of our values.

International Design Competition
All sketches for doccument Copy 1