WORKS - Houses and Housings

IVY STRUCTURE 2 - Tokyo, Japan, 2000

アイビー・ストラクチャー 2

There are two meanings inherent in Ivy Structure 2.  The first and direct meaning is that of the surrounding ivy wall, which functions both as an exterior screen and as an important structural unit for the main architecture itself.  The second and very special characteristic of this architecture is that it is elicited by depending on the usage of an entirely different structure, that of the ivy plant itself.
As an introduction to previous steps leading to this work, there is “Ivy Structure 1”.  The interior space on the first floor has no columns, freeing the whole of a lengthy yard to have a spacious feeling.  Half of the two-layered, gate-shaped steel frame was composed to structure the frame for the ivy screen, while the second floor was thought to be structurally hung from that point. 
The site for our plan for Ivy Structure 2 is adjacent to a large restaurant building on one side and a condominium block on the other.  There is an embassy at the rear, and the road in front of the site runs along a slope at an angle that creates a special form for the site.  At this location, a simple 13m equilateral glass cube structure (170 square meters) from the basement to the third floor was placed parallel to the road.  By placing the ivy screens around the three sides in the line of sight, other buildings that are not meant to be seen are shut out, and privacy is thus secured to a certain degree. 

As a simple four-layered cube, this structure can have various uses, such as a residential house, office, or gallery.  This was intended because there was a demand for a plan that did not have structural regulations, thereby allowing for future changes.  Hence, to equally distribute the space metal-framed circular columns were first placed in a grid pattern by dividing the 13m equilateral square into 9 smaller equilateral squares.  In order to increase the freedom of the plan, the brace and the bearing walls were abolished.  To avoid the usage of a thick rigid frame that would decide the grid, and to avoid as much stress on the round columns from lateral forces as possible, the four corners of the terrace and the frame from the 9-square-grid were connected by the ivy screen’s frame in a flying buttress fashion derived from Gothic architecture.  Because of this, the radii of the round columns were minimized, becoming thinner as the column grew higher. Pair-glass was used as the standard on all surfaces, and an Italian cladding with a simple section was used for the glass cube.  The southern and western side has exterior blinds to block sunlight, and water is stored in a shallow pool on the roof to create insulation during the summer.   


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