Y-House

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该项目是由 Frank la Riviere Architectsinc 设计,位于日本东京。这是一个大型私人寓所,高四层有一个地下室。

以下是设计事务所提供的项目简介:

Brief

A rough concrete shell in a true state of abandonment without windows or water protection more in the sense of a dilapidated ruin than a building of recent date; this was the starting point for this project. Put up for sale by the previous owner before the concrete works were finished the site was purchased by my client with the initial idea to create a large apartment for private habitation for a family of three.

The concrete structure of 4 stories high and a basement with an L-shaped foot print was initially conceived as an apartment building containing 8 one-room units and is characterized by its relatively small wall to wall distance of about 2.8 m.

Being invited to become the designer of the project as early as before the purchase of the site, the preliminary discussions with the client revealed our common understanding in respect to the benefits of retaining the building. We thought that the structure could be transformed to suite new purposes. Such an idea, to asses a building as an asset, seems more in place in Europe where the reuse of existing buildings is more common than in Japan where “scrap and build” is the daily practice. In Japan a plot of land is valued higher than a building; the site is first erased from all structures and plantation after which a new building arises from scratch. In our thought the extra cost of getting rid of the building was regarded a financial loss, particularly while the initial inspections, before the purchase, of the existing concrete found a sufficient structural quality.

Program & space planning

On a space planning level the merit of retaining the building was evident. A larger volume of space would be available to the client than if the building would have been torn down and a new one family residence would have been constructed. The loss of space, if a stand alone private residence would have been constructed, would have been significant as there would not have been any beneficial reductions of the square meters communal spaces from the total allowable square meters.

After checking the legal aspects of the project we found that the authorities accepted the possibility of retaining the status of “collective housing” as initially planned, while allowing for a reduction of the number of apartments to 3 only. The condition of the authorities was that at least one apartment needed to be situated on the top floor. Therefore instead of the 8 apartments as previously planned I started out designing a large apartment on the 3rd, 4th floor and partially on the 2nd floor with 3 bedrooms. On the second floor a stand alone apartment and the third apartment located on the first floor and in the basement and has both an entrance from the communal space as well as an independent entrance. The idea was to concentrate the financial means and design efforts on the largest apartment and to leave the two small apartments almost untreated. With this idea we found ourselves challenging the conventions of what is needed for an apartment in order to be regarded as habitable. Not determining too much and leave the freedom of choice to adjust the infill of the apartment to the occupant as is not uncommon in Europe, the idea of just leaving a large space unencumbered with separation walls, a concrete skeleton that allows for flexibility, runs counter to the convention that an apartment needs to be equipped with sanitary and cooking facilities and finished with carpet or flooring and wallpaper etc even if this may be against the wish of the occupant. Nevertheless we think that this could be a new type of space for which there could be demand even if this would mean that basic facilities are located outside the apartment for shared use or maybe even thought of as being provided for in the form of public facilities unless the occupant wants them within the apartment. This approach has resulted in the location of toilets across the communal corridor on L2 and L3, minimal facilities for the small apartments where the occupants bring in their own cooking installation and/or shower-booth or rely on external bathing facilities (gym, Sento).

Structure & Space

A problem posed by the idea of retaining the building was the fact that the structure had not been constructed after our specifications and that a risk of defects remained. This meant to us that the starting point of any design would be the question how to deal with the structure. The structure had both to be finished, because only 95% of the concrete was in place and it needed to be adapted. The approach we developed was to have the structural engineer immediately check in an early stage the structural viability of any alterations proposed and to check the strength of concrete by boring tests on site.

On starting to give form to the client requirements we discussed in the very early stages the need to liberate space within this structure in order to create a better flow of space. The rather restrictive one room apartments with their one directional orientation and small wall to wall distances were not suited for the requirements of a large apartment. Also if we could alter the walls by erasing strategically we could create unexpected spaces such as combining the double height spaces of two adjacent apartments to one large double height space. We could connect spaces in a direction perpendicular to their previously planned orientation and use the existing internal staircases to create an intricate network of interconnected spaces.

Therefore, after I had sketched the very basic space planning the structural engineer set to work checking if this design would be possible by putting the whole structure in a special computer model that allows judging the load bearing capacity of the building as a whole. Only after the calculations showed that there was sufficient over-capacity in the wall structure we worked out the basic concept into further detail with the security that large parts of some walls could be removed. This potential for the creation of these interesting spaces was therefore justified on the basis of the structural calculations that put the work of the structural engineer in opposition to the normal constructive approach; here the concept was constructing through erasure.

Architectural & Interior Space

Space development

On an architectural design level I believed that the site with its building could generate new ideas and approaches as a result of the necessity to respond to the existing structure and would therefore be particularly different from a project conceived from scratch. The following was my response to the design problem.

The general architectonic idea of this project was to treat the existing unfinished building both as a sort of support for and as a neutral background for the new functions and spaces. Partial finishes contrast and wrap the rough concrete, only where needed for a precise adjustment to the requirements of the space. This act of wrapping partially given in by balancing the architectural intervention with the available budget results either in a horizontal “loop” or a vertical “loop” shape. All these interventions to the existing building are expressed as additions to the building leaving them somehow free from the existing concrete or added with minimal detailing just inserted in the concrete such as the handrails in the staircase.

The other important aim of the design was to create spaces that are larger than the existing wall to wall distance by erasing part of the existing structure. In the liberated spaces the previously mentioned loops were inserted as large pieces of furniture. The result is a sort of islands between which daily life will evolve and they determine the living space, dining kitchen, the master bedroom and the children’s and guest bedrooms.

Materialization

Each “loop” was given just one finish for the floor, walls and ceilings. To strengthen the experience of hopping between these islands and in order to create a different quality per space, each loop was given a different finish, such as bamboo (an environmentally friendly material that absorbs CO2 better than trees) for the dining kitchen, galvanized steel plate for the living, vulcanized paper made from recycled pulp for the guest room or cushioned denim fabric for the children’s bedroom. Color was used in the same manner; one color per space and in the form of a loop.

The design theme of these “loops” with different materials creates a feel of special depth with a foreground in the form of a loop from where a background in the form of a second loop is visible across a neutral middle zone in the form of the concrete shell of the building as transition between the two. I belief that these in-between spaces, part of the neutral concrete of the building, work as the pause for taking breath in a phrase or music, separating for clarity while introducing the next space.

Towards the exterior the 500mm set-back from the façade of the loops, as a response to the structural necessity to leave some of the concrete for stability, creates a similar transition zone but now between interior and exterior. To access the balconies one has to step over a high window sill as stepping through a gap in the wall. Over the thickness of the wall the openings for windows and sliding doors are finished with a steel frame that once again forms a loop, this time framing the view as if looking through a box without bottom.

Routing

By connecting spaces through the erasure of walls, the existing staircases became, with minimal change, part of a routing system within the large apartment, connecting the second floor guestroom with the dining kitchen and connecting the living space with the master-bed room on the fourth floor. Just changing the direction of the existing staircase in the living room corrected the direction of the movement through the building from a lateral direction to in the longitudinal direction of the building, while at the same time leaving sufficient space for the bathroom. Designed as a suspended steel staircase the newly designed part of this stair slides past a screen of FRP/aluminium honeycomb sandwich screen. This translucent screen separates the bathroom on the 4th floor from the living room while allowing a glimpse through a small round window of the Tokyo cityscape through the void of the living room on one side and to the other a richly planted roof terrace. This was as close as we could get to create a sense of the Japanese Sento or Onzen type of bath.

The fact that now only one apartment occupies the top floor made that the internal staircase was enough to satisfy the needs for emergency escape routes, as the second means was planned over the balcony. This allowed us to remove the top flight of the central communal staircase resulting in a light well with a roof light through which the large apartment is accessed on the 3rd floor. A more direct approach is offered by the elevator that serves L1, L2 and L3.

Lighting scheme

The lighting scheme is rather simple. There is no provision for a general lighting there are only halogen spot lights that pin point areas in the spaces and there are some special feature lights in the form of modern type chandeliers like the pendant above the dining table and the one in the center void of the living-room.

Florescent lighting is only provided in the garage by using fixtures that are often found on construction sites.

Exterior envelop

The small street in front of the building is aligned with office buildings. In order to create sufficient privacy for habitation, the front façade is designed as a sort of filter composed of galvanized reinforcement bars to soften the appearance, add complexity and wrap the building as a whole in an almost fabric like feature that refers to the scale of the whole building and intermediates between the public scale and the private realm. The existing concrete guardrails and separations between apartments had to be removed from the balconies in order to liberate the façade of its all too common closed and introvert appearance and add a contrasting light feature to the weightiness of the concrete.

This filter fulfills several functions at the same time; it works as light filter and shading device, it adds detail and character to the front contrasting with the simplicity of the concrete structure; it works as guardrail and as vertical garden gradually hiding the building over time in lush green and making it retreat in a status of stealth. The choice of reinforcement bars was given in by the idea that this would refer to the pre state of concrete as if the concrete still has to be poured in the form work; a sort of pre-nascent state. In addition to this aspect the texture of reinforcement bars gives extra detail to the façade. Hopefully this feature reinterprets the qualities of gradual transition between the public realm and the private so often found in traditional Japanese buildings and re-connecting the building to the urban fabric. Not only borrowing the urban space and occupying the plot but also giving something back in return to the community.

The top floors are wrapped in a sort of blanket of plastered exterior insulation in order to free the interior from the need to apply insulation as is usual in Japan. The third accent in the façade is the red screen in recycled aluminum perforated metal that curls itself from the exterior into the entrance hall and leads once view inwards. On its way inwards the screen hides essential installation items but foremost marks the building as Y-House the newly designated name for the building.

 

设计事务所 Frank la Riviere Architectsinc
地点 日本, 东京
设计师 Frank la Rivière
面积 site 203.56 m2 / building 124.74 m2 / gross floor 466.01 m2
摄影 Ryota Atarashi, Frank la Rivière

 

 

 

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目录: 建筑, 住宅
地点: 日本, 东京