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"Kyoto is a gateway to history.
History can be understood from a geographical perspective. For example, Heian-kyo (Old Kyoto) is carved in the present day urban fabric. The architecture of Kyoto Station is intended as a formalisation of this statement through the realisation of the 'Geographical Concourse', the primary expression of the gate.
Each day, people will traverse this 27-meter wide, 60-meter high, 470-meter long concourse, as if travelling down the side of a mountain into the valley basin. The glass shelter over the concourse represents the traditional Japanese aesthetic of a boundary, yet not a boundary.
A person traversing the station will recollect the sky. The formalisation of the gate is like designing Kyoto's sky. 'The Matrix' is a podium supporting the gateway, a floating stratum. Its random column spans and frame delineate not only the infrastructure and various functions of the station but those of the city and their delineation by its grid-patterned streets.
The railway station, a symbol of machine-age architecture, provided a stage upon which people met and parted. 'The Matrix' functions as a fragment of Kyoto's womb, a stage upon which people experience various passages of their life.
The northern façade, the primary face of the gate, often appears to be in shadow when viewed from the plaza. Glass is generously used to brighten this façade. As a result, the building may disappear or appear to float in the air. The subtle transitions of the northern light reinforce this modality." – JR Kyoto Station