Kamikatz Brewery

2017

Assemble worked with microbrewery Rise&Win to expand their brewing facilities in a former sawmill in a mountainous region of Shikoku island, Japan.

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Situated in Kamikatsu, population 2,000 people, the town gained national attention in 2003 following their adoption of a policy setting out to achieve the ambitious target of producing Zero Waste by 2020. This followed a change in national legislation that forced closure of the two waste incinerators that previously served the town.

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Assemble developed an overall strategic plan for the organisation of the brewing facilities, and delivered a new tasting room for sampling beer. Analogous to the tea ceremony and tea house, the space offers a contemplative environment for the tasting of Rise&Win’s product which is made on site.

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Sitting amongst the existing collection of large and robust utile industrial sheds, the new building takes the form of a tall tower: a strong form in the landscape acting as a bold sign for the building, visible from the long approach down the valley, and offering a powerful spatial experience with views out over the mountains.

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Early on in the process, an extensive research trip to the local and surrounding area – visiting many local crafts people and material producers – led to the development of a unique material palette for the project. Cedarwood cladding from the immediate surrounding forests was stained using a traditional indigo dying process, and fixtures and fittings were produced in collaboration with local ceramicists with a technique called Obvara, using yeast left over from the brewing process to form a unique glaze.

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