This project involved the relocation of the offices of the Association of Wood Wholesalers in Tokyo. It serves as a showcase to demonstrate the possibilities of wood as an urban construction material. Engawa, or Japanese terraces, allow a natural breeze to enter while shutting out strong sunlight for a comfortable indoor environment. Lumber were integrated into the building's structure, and architectural exposed concrete was cast in cedar formwork. Since the building uses a large amount of wood, great attention was given to fire safety measures. The design focused on creating spatial continuity with the use of layering and natural light. Space Configuration A semi-outdoor space called engawa, existing in traditional Japanese homes, allows a natural breeze to enter the shelter while shutting out strong sunlight, achieving a comfortable indoor environment in the midst of harsh heat and humidity. From the traditional engawa, a new space configuration was realized. In this configuration, elements of an office, such as its structure, circulation system, and facilities, are reconstructed in a semi-outdoor environment. This configuration strives to connect the outdoors with the universal office, while simultaneously acting as a buffer against the harsh side of the external environment. Sets of terraces come together to make a porous skin. Deep eaves shut out direct sunlight and rain as well as offer a comfortable outdoor area where one can experience natural light, breezes, and other aspects of nature, as if living in the middle of the woods.
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