Niseko Town Hall / Atelier BNK
Text description provided by the architects. This project is a new town hall for Niseko Town, regarded as one of the world’s leading ski resorts. Niseko receives some of the heaviest snowfall in Hokkaido, and measures a،nst snow cornices are a major issue when planning buildings in urban areas. One of the design themes was the pursuit of a cross-sectional shape that can cope with heavy snowfall, together with the integration of the town hall program.
Considering the convenience of the townspeople, most of the counter functions, offices, and waiting lobby were placed on the first floor. The 2nd floor has a compact executive department centered on the town mayor’s office, and the 3rd floor has an independent ،embly function. As a result, a solid reinforced concrete cross-section was created in which the small second and third floors sit on top of the large first floor, which occupies half of the total floor area.
To avoid interference to the windows on the second floor from the snow on the first floor’s roof, a cross-section with a raised center forms a large ،e on the first floor, and natural light is taken in from the slab step. The roof on the first floor catches the cornice from the third floor and protects pedestrians from falling snow while providing a large terrace in the summer.
The beautiful scenery provided by the surrounding mountains can be enjoyed from the Niseko town center. A panorama window was created on the third floor, converting the chain of mountains surrounding Niseko into a comfortable free ،e for use by the townspeople. We aimed to convey the charm of Niseko to visitors through the new town hall by utilizing white birch wood for interior materials such as wooden sashes, floors, and walls, furniture and art created in collaboration with Niseko’s artists, brick, and sheet metal, pocket parks on street corners. Further, as a symbol of Niseko as an environmental model city, the design includes the highest level of insulation performance in Japan.