Situated at the exit of Osaka’s main train station in an area teeming with tall glass buildings, Fukoku Tower designed by French superstar architect Dominique Perrault for a Japanese insurance firm might seem inconspicuous at first. Just one out of many. When approaching from street level, however, you will see it slowly dissolving into fragments smaller and smaller still, like a giant tree taking its roots.
MVRDV has printed a full farmhouse in Schijndel, a medieval village in the southern Netherlands and the hometown of MVRDV co-founder Winy Mass. Or at least left the skin of the town centres' glass façade in the hands of a well-equipped fritting machine before wrapping the whole body in printed glass with motives from the best of the average from local history.
True to the core product of Italcementi, the new headquarter is a powerful showcasing of various possibilities of concrete. The refined roughness of the concrete, the strong and yet transparent expression and the overall simple aesthetic of the building is an elegant architectural stroke.