Creating Eco-friendly and Safe “Timber City” Environments

Shelter Co.,Ltd. seeks to serve as the world’s frontrunner in advanced wooden structural technology, and has done so since its establishment in 1974. Owing to our focus on smart innovation, Shelter offers state-of-the-art infrastructure technology for “Creating a Timber City” that promises to have a targeted impact on preventing global warming. The synergistic effect of Japan’s first metal joinery hardware construction method, the KES system (Kimura Excellent Structure System), and the world’s first 3-hour fire-resistant wooden material COOL WOOD has enabled Shelter to realize large-scale, high-rise wooden structures. Moreover, our adoption of Asia’s first state-of-the-art 3D woodworking machine has made FREE STYLE WOOD (curved and twisting wooden materials) commercially viable through three-dimensional design and machining. Uniquely artistic buildings can be created by giving shape to virtually any architectural designs that can be imagined. With offices in Yamagata, Tokyo, and Sendai, Shelter has developed a “win-win” business model by collaborating with contractors in each area to provide its technology nationwide.

State-of-the-art wooden structural technology

Shelter is dedicated to perfecting its technology in constructing wooden buildings based on a business philosophy to “seek for and pursue what is right” and the spirit from its foundation to “build first-rate homes.” The KES system, which demonstrated its extraordinary resilience following the severe earthquakes and tsunamis of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995 and the East Japan Earthquake in 2011, has been adopted in the construction of high-quality custom-built homes and more than 1,000 public wooden buildings. The Nanyo-City Cultural Center (Nanyo City, Yamagata Prefecture), which was built with the KES system and fireproof wood technology COOL WOOD, has been registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest wooden concert hall.” The wood delivers superior performance such as the best acoustic level in the world, humidity control due to the wood breathing, and superior energy-saving effects. Featuring an increasing popularity among renowned performers and a growing number of visitors, this magnificent wooden hall contributes to the vitalization of the region. The “Inverted Mt. Fuji” of the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Centre, in Shizuoka Pref. (designed by Shigeru Ban Architects), is adorned with a wooden lattice made by Shelter through 3D woodworking. The outwardly curving grid-shaped lattice of this massive monument fascinates all who visit this center.

Advancing toward uniquely stylish dimensions in architecture

As exemplified by the rapid shift to EV in the automotive industry, revolutionary products are being produced in various fields to replace existing technologies. With the arrival of the “Wood First” trend, architecture is also seeing the birth of a new growing industry which employs wood to connect the urban with the rural. Shelter leverages the synergistic effect created by our “KES x COOL WOOD x FREE STYLE WOOD” technologies. We do this to realize large-scale high-rise buildings made only from wood, hybrid skyscrapers comprising “steel-reinforced concrete + COOL WOOD,” and wooden buildings made with FREE STYLE WOOD that are conceived as “out of the box” or not conforming to existing shapes or formats.
Architecture is now witnessing the arrival of an entirely new stage of a different dimension. Shelter’s highly focused team of innovators will continue striving to advance this pioneering spirit.

Shelter Co.,Ltd. President & CEO
Yoshihiro Kimura