Location: Tokyo, Japan
Architect In Charge: Masatomo Kojima
Design Team: Kohei Sasakawa, Ryo Inoue
Client: Boat Race Promotion Association
Area: 382.0 sqm
Photographs: Kai Nakamura
Structural Engineer: Yoshinori Nito Engineering and Design PC
Mechanical Engineer: Masanori Sodekawa, Takatoshi Mizutani
Electrical Engineer: Takao Kawauchi, Akira Katayanagi
Lighting Designer: Ryuta Sonobe
Manufacturing And Engineering Consultant: Heartland Engineering Co., Ltd.
General Contractor: Nakano Corporation
This project is a unit-based intervention for tenants re-occupying existing buildings. The market for this intervention is mainly young customers visiting a new cafeteria. Certain spatial flexibility was required for other activities such as live concerts and shows. The design of the space had to be adjustable and controllable in order to fit in several project sites and within different existing building conditions.
The main focus of the project is to invent the system comprised of basic units forming the whole cafeteria, which could be further developed as several design options by transforming its shape and adjusting to its surroundings.
The basic unit consists of the ring-shaped aluminum extrusions and panels set in-between the frames. The aluminum frames accentuate wave patterns and the panels form continuous surfaces of the floor, wall and ceiling. Light fixtures are installed in the aluminum frame and the panels.
SELF STANDING ALUMINUM PORTAL FRAME How to create a unit system was the important challenge for the design team and structural engineer. And one of the key factors was the selection of the material for the structure. It should be light weight, easy to assemble & disassemble, expandable and suitable for clear long span over new event space. We concluded Aluminum was the solution because of its higher strength to weight ratio than most other metals. Aluminum is one of the most efficient structural materials providing the almost same strength as the mild steel at less than one-third the weight. Its light weight brings economic goal by reducing transportation and installation costs.
The structure is series of the self standing portal frames. Each aluminum member is the custom extrusion whose extrudability provides structural efficiency, precision on manufacturing and assembly, and integration with both architectural and lighting designs. The shop-assembled extrusion was shipped to the site individually, and the steel plate was inserted and overlapped into each extrusion to connect each other. This unique mechanical splice connection brings the continuity, strength and stability of the rigid aluminum frame without any fastener or weld.
With the use of aluminum and maximizing intrinsic benefits of it, this unique, sophisticated and sustainable space is realized with 3D curved slender structure. This structure can be disassembled and reused in new future project.