Within the assembly of repetition and symmetrical geometry, the essence of modernist design is present in Canyon Asia Factory. The interference of design is in every corner of daily life, yet put in unconventional contexts results are bound to be peculiar, at least, if not amazing. For challenging programmes such as an expansive factory, design is introduced as a way to minimise extraneous installations and turn the facility into an open framework for flexible activities. While one might not think of the interaction between an industrial establishment with contemporary design, the deliverance here is majestic, brutalist, and beautiful.
Based in Rayong province of Thailand, the factory belongs to Canyon, a Japanese manufacturer that produces ‘trigger operated sprays and pump dispensers’. Designed and engineered by Kajima Design Asia with the core of an assembly line for efficient productivity, the structure is a void plan ready to be occupied at any moment. Inside, PVC sheets are used to produce a soft-lit atmosphere that fills the entire space with natural light. The ceiling is lifted up without the aid of columns. Rather, a series of trusses is integrated to create seamless circulation through different zones of the factory.
Having a neutral colour palette, the office is comprised of grey carpets and floor-to-ceiling windows. This composition allows the area to have a dialogue with the outdoor area, where fields of green grass cover the extensive grounds; the contrasts of inner and outer space are cleverly blurred, with a buffer zone of white pebbles to comfort visual differences. The ring of stones runs around the facility’s perimeter, almost like a zen garden being inserted to elevate that heaviness of its facades.
Due to the floods of tropical sunlight, the architects incorporate precast concrete louvers to shade the interior when needed. These monolithic bars are offset from the inner walls, creating an interstitial peripheral. Not only do they help increase ventilation paths throughout the building, the design decision also acts as coverage for ‘mechanical opening’ for clean facades and a minimalist aesthetic.
For minimalist designs like Canyon Asia Factory, the importance of engineering cannot be disregarded. From elevating an open ceiling to forming continuous concrete louvers, the designers were able to optimise usage and prevent drastic transformation of materials, especially in Thailand’s tropical climate. While the attention to detail is seemingly unseen, the immense effort to calculate each interlocking joint to deliver an effortless design should be greatly appreciated.
Inspired by both traditional Thai architecture and modernist designs from renowned architects, Kajima Design Asia produced an amazing project that’s structurally oriented. The synergistic energy between designing and engineering is clearly apparent—an essential collaborative nature that’s often overlooked. This peculiar result is one to be cherished, as it represents that even in unusual circumstances, marvellous objects can still be born and nourished.