Seminar House Pavilion is a viewing tower designed and built collectively by Takeshi Hayatsu, Simon Jones and 15 postgraduate students from the Unit 5 at the art and architecture department at Kingston University, in collaboration with Japanese architect/ historian Terunobu Fujimori. It was built originally for the 2016 summer installation in the garden of Grade II Listed art museum, Dorich House Museum, Kingston Vale, where the workshop and symposium about the UK and Japanese contemporary crafts were held during the academic year.
The pavilion consists three layers, each layer cantilevers out 1 m as it progresses. The simple OSB and softwood composite panel construction was devised, containing an intimate room inside for an informal meeting. Top layer utilizes the deck and seating for a picnic. It is dressed with zinc, hand-split wooden shingles, and charred timber, and all were produced by the Unit 5 students in collaboration with Terunobu Fujimori during his residency at Kingston in March 2016.
The cantilevered layers of the pavilion’s structure were inspired by the upturned form of the Takamasa Yoshizaka’s Inter University Seminar House Project in Japan in 1965, which the Unit 5 visited as part of their study trip to Japan in November 2015. Yoshizaka’s work is influential to the certain types of architects whose work is rough, tactile, sometimes improvised, sometimes self-built, invaluably uses elemental, natural materials and is very often somewhat ‘odd’ to Western eyes. Fujimori labeled this as ‘Red School’, the colour red represents the blood, characterizing the bodily nature of their work as oppose to the more abstract-minded ‘White’ school of contemporary Japanese architecture.