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OWASE Elementary school

2012 / Elementary School
PLACE : OWASE, Mie Prefecture, JAPAN
STRUCTURE : Steel & Wood

Spatial Arrangement – Layered Bands
This architecture is formed from layered bands that have differing heights. The ground floor has 4 layers, the first floor has 5 layers and an intermediate layer exists between the two floors, making a 10-layer arrangement altogether. Each layer gives rules to how the spaces are configured – they determine the changes in ceiling heights, window sizes and dimensions of storage which are recessed into walls as joinery items. The variation in ceiling heights enables spaces with small human-scale spaces and large shared spaces to coexist as one continuous horizontal volume. With ceiling/wall surfaces dependent on the rules for each layer, the elevation and the reflected ceiling create contrasting characters with the floor arrangement, adding depth to the overall quality of the internal space. It avoids individual ‘rooms’ become independent from one another – users will sense a continuous and fluid nature of inter-relating spaces. Openings provided to each layer will create various visual connections and in places frame the key views out to the surrounding landscape (mountains, sea, playground and trees).

Details: steel and white cedar
The architecture is constructed with steel and white cedar. The main structure is formed with a simple system by steel frame construction. Steel columns are located on a grid system of 2.65m spacing, where the overall plan is 40m by 30m. If each junction within this grid system had a column, there will be 192 points altogether. Columns can be subtracted from the grid in accordance to the required accommodation sizes. For example, a modular space of 8.1m by 8.1m can be created to be used as a classroom. As a result of this methodology, the ground floor has 171 columns and the first floor has 145 columns. Braces are added to selected areas for earthquake protection. The largest columns are 136mm diameter and the smallest are 86mm diameter – which means that the proportions are equal to conventional timber construction columns or even more slender. The proposal uses white cedar log (135x165mm) material for internal partitions as a new method for timber wall construction. These are supported by the steel columns to prevent them from falling. Taking into account of the safety and efficiency of construction and ensuring the structural stability/robustness of the walls, the logs are inserted into bolts in 600 pitch and then stiffened up by applying torque.

Copyright © Yasuyuki ITO / Architect All Rights Reserved.
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