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General View

picture of the General View

The Kansai-kan is designed to provide long-term storage of library materials and improved library services responding to the information society in the 21st century.
The Kansai-kan building was designed by Mr. Fumio Toki (Fumio Toki Architect Institute), who won first prize in an international design competition sponsored by the Ministry of Construction.
The Kansai-kan, a building with four stories above ground and four stories below, has a total floor area of approximately 60,000 m2, 80% of which is in the basement including reading rooms and stack rooms. The stacks from the 2nd basement to the 4th basement can hold approximately 6 million volumes.

Skylight Roof

A solid block plan of the Skylight Roof
A picture of the Skylight Roof

Kansai Science City where the Kansai-kan is located sits on top of Keihanna Hill in a natural setting. The skylight roof and woods in the courtyard are designed to blend in with nature.
There are lawns on the north side, while the south side of the roof is covered with special glass that diffuses the natural light as it enters the reading rooms below.

Outer Walls

A solid block plan of the Outer Walls
A picture of the Outer Walls

The outer walls of the building are double-skin glass curtain walls made up of 2,000 units. Each unit consists of a tapestry glass and aluminum frame (each 3.75m wide by 1.5m high).
Conventionally, construction is done using scaffolding and the outer walls are assembled in the air. However, for the Kansai-kan a new method was adopted for the first time in Japan, in which the steel frame was assembled on the ground then raised using hydraulic jacks (the "wake-up method"). This method enabled high-quality curtain walls to be erected precisely, safely and quickly.


A solid block plan of the Courtyard
A picture of the Courtyard

The courtyard in the 1st basement, together with the skylight roof, is designed to re-create the image of forests on Keihanna Hill. The area of the courtyards on the east and west sides totals approximately 3,300 square meters, where more than 100 trees such as Japanese oaks are planted.
Visitors walk along the passage between the east and west courtyards toward the reading rooms.

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Skylight Roof Outer Walls Courtyard