- Constructional Design: Jun Sato Structural Engineers, SATO Jun, INOUE Kenichi
- Cooperative University: NOGUCHI Takafumi
- City: Tokyo
- Country: Japan
Text description provided by the architects. For this project, we developed a 100% recyclable concrete which, instead of sand, contains SHIRASU, the deposit of pyroclastic flow of volcanic ash which is found in the Southern parts of Japan in abundance. The advantage of this concrete is its strength and durability that increases to grow over a long period of time because of the pozzolanic reaction of SHIRASU. Also its density, which comes from the fine granularity of SHIRASU, protects the concrete from neutralization. SHIRASU also contains micro closed-cells which gives the concrete humidity control and deodorizing qualities. This development and use of SHIRASU concrete can be a huge asset to those areas where SHIRASU can be excavated.
Transition from the planimetric cognition to the cross-sectional cogitation
For architecture on a small site, sectional and volumetric design becomes very important. A high level sound insulated audio visual room in the basement, and a spacious gallery and a Japanese room is placed on the first floor. Functionality was prioritized on the second floor with a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. The living room is a very small space, but a 5m high ceiling and a large oblique triangular window, drawing in an abundance of external light, results in a cognition that is far greater than the reality. The final design of this space was derived through a vast number of three-dimensional models.
Three design methods that achieve physical and psychological richness.
1. “NU-KE (noo-kay)” Using visual and psychological connections between interior and exterior, “NU-KE” “enlarges” space and adds depth by multi-layering of walls and spatial volumes. I pruned away some corners from the rectangular building to create “NU-KE” towards the sky; the last remaining vast piece of nature in Tokyo.
2. Simultaneous Contemplation of plan/section I always draw plans and sections simultaneously and make numerous study models to create a multi-layered space with an enhanced spaciousness. i.e.; the layering of concrete steps from the basement, the living space extending to the bedroom above, the toilet and high window leading to the sky and the bedroom, the bathroom to the exterior via a skylight. These interconnections produce spatial richness that cannot be measured by area alone.
3. Colour and texture Here, I used exposed concrete, charcoal stained and persimmon tanned wooden boards, hammered steel, black stainless steel, oxidized black silver plate etc. The colors of these rich materials are unified by a grey to black colour and all have a matt texture. This attention to colour and texture creates unity, and makes spaces interesting and enriched.