LocationSaitama, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
From the architect. Twin Bricks, consists of two wings - A five unit rental dwelling and the owner’s own two-family house. It is located in a quiet residential area, just 20 minutes by train from Tokyo. In order to secure some space for the owner’s car collection, the owner’s wing (RC Wing) stands closer to the road than the rental wing (S Wing). The rental wing is clad in both autoclaved lightweight concrete (ALC) panels as well as glass blocks.
The S Wing, based on the previously completed “Crystal Brick” House, introduces ALC panels as aseismatic elements in order to improve cost-effectiveness in the face of earthquake safety. The arrangement of glass block and ALC panel was derived from a series of experiments. The results showed that the ALC panel fail leaving the glass blocks intact, providing enhanced safety for the occupants. An intriguing spatial composition materializes due to the seemingly random composition of the glass block and ALC Panels which hide all structure.
With the purpose of alleviating noise from the garage and providing a sense of privacy for the owners, Atelier Tekuto Co., Ltd. created the “RC structure + exterior thermal insulation” construction method. Costs were significantly reduced by introducing high-pressure wood wool cement boards and integrating the boards as form works. Original tiles were also developed after careful consideration. The overall experience of Twin Bricks is heightened by the juxtaposition of the heavy RC wing and light S wing and between the transparency of glass versus the opacity of the ALC panels. Though these materials seem to be in antithesis, they exhibit a material harmony when partnered together.