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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Cell Bricks in Tokyo, Japan by Atelier Tekuto

 
January 20th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Atelier Tekuto

For this particular project, I wanted to accomplish two things. The first was to combine opposing architectonics; the masonry structure which is the origin of the building technique and the skin structure which I have been trying on my projects. And the second was to innovate something that equips structure, function and heat environment altogether.A steel box is designed with the Japanese original module and it sizes 450mm×900mm. The Boxes are piled up with openings that become windows. Considering the heating environment inside, the depth of a steel box was decided as 300mm that serves as brise-soleil. The given depth blocks out the summer sun light and pulls in the winter sun into the house. In addition, a heat resistance material, a special ceramic-infused coating which we have applied for the past Penguin House project, is put on the steel plate. This also helps to solve the heating problem.

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

  • Architects: Atelier Tekuto
  • Project: Cell Bricks
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Design: Yasuhiro Yamashita/Atelier Tekuto
  • Structural Engineering : Jun Satoh/Jun Satoh Structure Engineers
  • Constructor: Shigeki Matsuoka/Homebuilder Co.,Ltd.
  • Steel Constructor: Shigeo Kikushima/Kikushima JV Co.,Ltd.
  • Structure: RC for the basement+Steel for 1~2nd Stories

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

  • Building area: 32.93㎡
  • Total Floor Area: 88.27㎡
  • Building Height: 6.685m
  • B1 Floor Area: 19.53㎡
  • 1st Floor Area: 32.76㎡
  • Bathroom Floor Area: 3.22㎡
  • 2nd Floor Area: 29.54㎡
  • Loft Floor Area: 3.22㎡

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

Spacial Depth and Layer

For this project, I was especially concerning about and aiming to attain a ‘spacial depth’.Because piled thin steel boxes cannot give depth to a space, I was thinking of putting parting strips and deck shelf (it also serves as an essential structural material) from the beginning.To avoid making a dull space, the interior wall is made like multiple layers and it gives a certain sense of depth. It also makes one to feel as if he or she were in the trees when they are in the house. And when they put their personal belongings in the steel boxes, a ‘life layer’ is added and a layering process comes to the end.

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

Structure

This project is supported by 900mm(width)×450mm(height)×300mm(depth) steel boxes only. A vertical load goes down through the edge of boxes like ‘Ghost Leg’ shape and seismic force is supported by a row of backboards that becomes like a big wall.

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

Construction Technique and Cost

In order to pile up the boxes, detailed planning took place over the design, structure, and construction. At the same time, from the very beginning, cost and precision of building frame were crucial topics in the process.

At first, we planned to assemble each boxes on site but the precision of construction, cost and time became problematic. And eventually, we decided to unitize boxes and fuse them with high-tension bolts previously at factory. The size of unit is decided to respond to the size of truck.

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

We were sticking to the idea of piling up the boxes but the unitizing system rather made us possible to obtain a modern masonry construction technique.

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

Image Courtesy Makoto Yoshida

Elevation

Plan

 

For this particular project, I wanted to accomplish two things. The first was to combine opposing architectonics; the masonry structure which is the origin of the building technique and the skin structure which I have been trying on my projects. And the second was to innovate something that equips structure, function and heat environment altogether.A steel box is designed with the Japanese original module and it sizes 450mm×900mm. The Boxes are piled up with openings that become windows. Considering the heating environment inside, the depth of a steel box was decided as 300mm that serves as brise-soleil. The given depth blocks out the summer sun light and pulls in the winter sun into the house. In addition, a heat resistance material, a special ceramic-infused coating which we have applied for the past Penguin House project, is put on the steel plate. This also helps to solve the heating problem.

 

Spacial Depth and Layer

For this project, I was especially concerning about and aiming to attain a ‘spacial depth’.Because piled thin steel boxes cannot give depth to a space, I was thinking of putting parting strips and deck shelf (it also serves as an essential structural material) from the beginning.To avoid making a dull space, the interior wall is made like multiple layers and it gives a certain sense of depth. It also makes one to feel as if he or she were in the trees when they are in the house. And when they put their personal belongings in the steel boxes, a ‘life layer’ is added and a layering process comes to the end.

 

Structure

This project is supported by 900mm(width)×450mm(height)×300mm(depth) steel boxes only. A vertical load goes down through the edge of boxes like ‘Ghost Leg’ shape and seismic force is supported by a row of backboards that becomes like a big wall.

 

Construction Technique and Cost

In order to pile up the boxes, detailed planning took place over the design, structure, and construction. At the same time, from the very beginning, cost and precision of building frame were crucial topics in the process.

At first, we planned to assemble each boxes on site but the precision of construction, cost and time became problematic. And eventually, we decided to unitize boxes and fuse them with high-tension bolts previously at factory. The size of unit is decided to respond to the size of truck.

We were sticking to the idea of piling up the boxes but the unitizing system rather made us possible to obtain a modern masonry construction technique.

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