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Inamori Pavilion, Japanese Friendship Garden – Balboa Park

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The Inamori Pavilion was designed as a backdrop to the Japanese Friendship Garden expansion, which is the focal point for visitors seeking peaceful retreat. The emphasis on the structure had to be gracefully balanced, so as to complement and not distract, from the serene landscape of the canyon. The Pavilion’s architectural “Sukiya Style” represents both sophistication and simplicity. The Pavilion seamlessly integrates with nature and is characterized its natural materials. Influenced by the concept of “wabi-sabi,” the design recognizes beauty in imperfection and celebrates changes observed over time. The building features exposed details where wood meets metal and metal meets concrete. Over the years the Alaskan yellow cedar will change to grey, which captures nature taking its course.

The building’s function is to create a recreational space that fosters a sense of community and friendship between American and Japanese cultures. It also serves as a 300-guest event venue. The location is ideal for educational programs such as horticultural classes, exhibits and festivals. The Pavilion and Garden become one thanks to an inviting open wood deck with shoji sliding panels and the tranquil setting of the surrounding koi pond. Visitors enjoy carefully crafted traditional details of the garden architecture: a wood bridge that symbolizes the path to paradise and immortality, stone arrangements, water features, Japanese dai-doro stone lantern and tsukubai stone water basin with a bamboo pipe. A sacred jewel of Balboa Park, the Pavilion and Gardens engage all cultures to appreciate nature, simplicity and Japanese aestheticism.

2215 Pan American Road East, San Diego, CA 92101

Project Owner/Developer:
Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects, Inc.

Contact Name/Email:
Kotaro Nakamura / Nakamura@rntarchitects.com

Project Architect/Designer:
Kotaro Nakamura

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