Curve it Up
A curved roof that wraps up a studio space in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture by Studio Velocity gives way to a floating surface that also acts as a gathering space.
Studio Velocity has created an office space with a curved roof with punctures to let the flaura in that site grow unhindered while letting the curved roof be the highlight of the building as a space that brings the office community together.
But it is not only for aesthetical motives that the principal architect Kentaro Kurihara designed the roof, he says, “First of all, I decided to set up the second floor and build a small rooftop space in accordance with the way the surrounding houses were built.”
The office was set in a dense residential area and it was difficult to have a space that had privacy.
“Being a dense residential area, privacy could not be maintained, handrails appeared, rainwater drainage was a concern, so we made it a curved surface to solve them all,” he says, “This surface also had the effect of changing the spatiality of the floor under the roof due to changes in ceiling height. It is designed so that a single curved surface can have different effects simultaneously on the space above and below it.”
How to make a new curved surface that generates a curved surface by gravity and tension using a flat material with an extremely thin and flat cross section, became the next problem to solve.
“If the roof is formed only by the deflection of gravity, the building will deform and collapse when people get on it, hence a prestressed structure is used in which the assumed maximum load is pulled and flexed in advance to fix it,” explains the team of Studio Velocity.
“When a person is on the roof, the tension applied to the lower vertical pillar gradually decreases, and it is designed so that compression is not applied until it reaches a maximum of 150 people (40 kg / ㎡).”
The rooftop payload and tensile tension keeps the shape of the building constant.
Although it uses a structural system that is different from the ordinary wooden structure, the use of wood for the tension material and the closer visual appearance to the ordinary wooden structure have created a space that is very livable, says Kentaro.
Based on the individual data obtained by carrying load test of about 1000 lamina materials
twelve “precision wood” beams were manufactured by designing the layout of the lamina, and a wooden structure that matched the stress diagram of this project was realized.
“The girder that forms the roof is made of the glued lumber, and since both ends have a pin structure, bending stress is not applied closer to both ends, so a material with weak strength may be bent easily. Since the bending stress increases toward the center, a lamina material with stronger strength is gradually arranged. In other words, this is a building that could not be realized unless it was done from the design of laminated wood,” Kentaro explains.
Most of Kentaro’s work involves wood and using its structural aspects to create innovative buildings. He tries to explain his love for the material, “My seniors (JunyaIshigami and Sanaa: KazuyoSejima + Ryue Nishizawa and Toyo Ito) have achieved various wonderful architecture with steel structures. On the other hand, I focused on the wooden tradition, which is a Japanese tradition, and from the viewpoint that the strength of each member must be different because the tree is alive, unlike steel frames.
While Kentaro has a strong bond with his master JunyaIshigami, under whom he has worked and also with Sanaa (KazuyoSejima + Ryue Nishizawa and Toyo Ito), Kentaro believes that everyone is designing wonderful architecture. “It is about connecting scientists with bold ideas while having detailed insights,” he says.
Name: Sannouno Office
Architect: Studio Velocity