Small Architect Firm Works on Big Projects

By: Kevin Bews

SPF Manager, Canada Wood Japan

Canada Wood Japan/COFI was recently invited by Azusagawa Sekkei Co., Ltd. to inspect a new 2×4 structure that the company did the structural engineering and calculations for, a 1,000 sqm 4-storey fireproof 2×4 building going up in Itabashi ward in Tokyo. Azusagawa Sekkei is a small architect firm based in Tokyo with six full time staff that specializes in 2×4 structural design and engineering, but do not let its size fool you.

Since COFI and the 2×4 Association were jointly granted the first Japanese 2×4 ministerial fire approvals in 2004, the company has supported our efforts and worked on over 100 large and mid-rise wood projects all over Japan that include apartments, mixed commercial, elderly care facilities, hospices, etc. However, the little firm did not start out originally with these grandiose plans. When the company was first established in 1996, it worked with small builders and housing companies to help them design and build 2×4 homes in and around Tokyo. Its great to see how these masked men and women of this small architect firm have taken up the challenge to help building designers and contractors build larger 2×4 structures across Japan, and by doing so it has not only expanded their customer base, but also the 2×4 market in Japan for Canadian wood products!