Medical Office Building in Higashi-Tamagawa

Year: 2013 | Type: 2 Week Graduate Seminar | Location: Tokyo, Japan | Team: ASAKO Yusuke and Quentin LECLERE

Analysis. This project was completed as part of a two-week graduate seminar. The first week focused on the analysis of a house designed by Robert Venturi. Each group was charged with researching, analyzing and interpreting the house they were assigned. But the trick was to study the house as if it were relieved of its context. We merely looked at the house for what it was. The first week’s deliverables were a plan and section and two perspectives which each group decided were representative of the concepts and ideas embodied in their given house. The second week asked us to re-imagine the same house as if it were thrown into the context of Tokyo. How does the addition of context, albeit different, affect the execution of architectural concepts and ideas? In addition, we were asked to consider the existence of another house, designed by a well-known Japanese architect, in the proximity of our assigned site. These architects included Kazuo Shinohara, Kazunari Sakamoto and Atelier Bow-wow. With these things in mind, each team designed (or redesigned) their Venturi house.

The building we studied was the Varga-Brigio Medical Office Building. Our site was Higashi-Tamagawa, next to the two Higashi-Tamagawa buildings designed by Shinohara.

Design. The large wedge-shaped volume creates a stunning approach to the building that visually and physically draws the visitor from front to back. The narrow Tokyo lot next to Kazuo Shinohara’s Higashi-yama House and Complex does not allow for the sweeping, circulatory approach seen in Venturi’s Varga-Brigio Medical Office Building, so the transformation instead required a different method of emphasizing the approach, in this case through the building’s form, inspired by the perspective of Venturi’s building created in its approach. Other aspects represent ideas from the original house, such as the semi-circular entrance and windows derived from interior function. At the same time, building’s form and arragement of penetrations are inspired by the neighboring Shinohara buildings. The interior arrangement reflects Venturi’s ideas in the Varga-Brigio Medical Office Building. The visitor enters through a small entrance into a large reception room, in which the stairs play a large role in understanding circulation through the spaces. The examination rooms on the first floor and the offices on the second floor are organized simply and practically.

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