Project in Detail
Nikken Sekkei Ltd
Nikken Space Design Ltd., Japan
World Architecture Festival 2009 - Shortlisted
Panoramic View of the WEST
The purpose of this project was to relocate the Association of Wood Wholesalers in Tokyo in order to better display the various possibilities of wood in hopes of reviving the popularity of wood as an urban construction material.
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.
There has been an architectural culture since ancient Japan, where the structure is made up of lines of beams and columns. This building aims to revive such a culture in an urbanized area in a newly developed form. In order to feel the presence and texture of wood using all five senses, 105mm x 105mm blocks of wood, a standard size distributed by the timber markets of Japan, were stacked or integrated into all parts of the building. In order for the SRC (Steel Reinforced Concrete), the structural support of this architecture, to merge with the scale of wood, the width of the plate-like pillars were kept to a minimum and the concrete was given a wooden texture by casting it in cedar frames.
This building utilized Numerical Control Machining (otherwise known as NC), an innovative wood cutting machine. Processing wood often relies a great deal on craftsmanship. However, the NC method achieves high accuracy and productivity and is able to create highly abstract designs. The hall on the top floor was assembled from 115mm beams of wood that were processed by NC to form a structural body that spans about 25m. A traditional Japanese technique was modified to adjoin the wooden beams along their lengths to establish one combined panel. Oak wooden plugs were inserted in between the cypress and were unified by bolts, creating a new smooth surface to wood, which is only possible with the high accuracy of the NC method.
Site area(m2): 1,652.90
Building area(m2): : 1,011.26
Floor area(m2): : 934.24
Total Floor area(m2): 7,582.09
Height : 35,730mm
Principal Use: Office, Hall
Nikken Sekkei Ltd
Mr Takayuki Katsuya
Nikken Space Design Ltd.