M2, which stands beside Ring Road Number 8, was built as an automobile showroom for Mazda. It is a jumble of dentils, corbels, triglyphs and arches at different scales and a glass curtain wall topped by panels normaly used to contain traffic noise. Despite the illusion of masonry construction, the structure is reinforced concrete. Standing smack in the middle of this pile is an enormous column with an abbreviated shaft. Inside, the iconic column is discovered to be an atrium with glazed elevator shaft.
“I want to be a Piranesi for the electronic age” was a comment made by the architect at the time. The curtain wall and the highway barriers represent functionalism and modernism, and the classical motifs post-modernism. Combining this free-floating collage was intended to express the emergence of a new post-industrial relationship between the workplace and the home.
Name: M2 Building │Type: Commercial│Architect: Kengo Kuma│Completed: 1991