Arquitectura Viva
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
19/08/2016

Toyo Ito & Associates / Klein Dytham, Home-for-All Nursery in Soma City

 
One of the problems in reconstructing and repopulating the places most gravely affected by the great earthquake and subsequent tsumani that hit Japan’s Tohoku region in the year 2011 continues to be the invisible, silent, but terribly harmful presence of the radiation that leaked, and continues to leak, through cracks in the Fukushima power plant. The effects are evident everywhere, given that radiation does not only make farmed fruit and vegetables inedible and previously potable water undrinkable, but also makes such everyday activities as playing outdoors, in school yards, difficult. The purpose of this nursery in Soma City is precisely to address the latter extreme.

This is a compact building that looks like a mushroom or hat, but in a rather surprising way the interior brings up the metaphor of the protective, shade-giving forest that has since antiquity been associated with the origins of architecture. The intuitive image is achieved thanks to a structure of cross laminated timber composed of two families related to each other: on the one hand, the supports that help to reduce the total span of 20 meters and which, making the metaphor literal, resemble trees; and on the other, the beams held up by structural trees, which are very light and of a single piece, and are superposed in nine layers following successive 60º rotations..
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