Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP: Optical Glass House

I stumbled across this beautiful project couple of days ago – an optical glass house by Hiroshi Nakamura. For more images, be sure to check out the original post on archidesignclub.com.

2715-architecture-design-muuuz-magazine-blog-decoration-interieur-art-maison-architecte-hiroshi-nakamura-nap-optical-glass-house-hiroshima-01Optical Glass Façade

A façade of some 6,000 pure-glass blocks (50mm x 235mm x 50mm) was employed. The pure-glass blocks, with their large mass-per-unit area, effectively shut out sound and enable the creation of an open, clearly articulated garden that admits the city scenery. To realize such a façade, glass casting was employed to produce glass of extremely high transparency from borosilicate, the raw material for optical glass. The casting process was exceedingly difficult, for it required both slow cooling to remove residual stress from within the glass, and high dimensional accuracy. Even then, however, the glass retained micro-level surface asperities, but we actively welcomed this effect, for it would produce unexpected optical illusions in the interior space.

Waterfall

So large was the 8.6m x 8.6m façade, it could not stand independently if constructed by laying rows of glass blocks a mere 50mm deep. We therefore punctured the glass blocks with holes and strung them on 75 stainless steel bolts suspended from the beam above the façade. Such a structure would be vulnerable to lateral stress, however, so along with the glass blocks, we also strung on stainless steel flat bars (40mm x 4mm) at 10 centimeter intervals. The flat bar is seated within the 50mm-thick glass block to render it invisible, and thus a uniform 6mm sealing joint between the glass blocks was achieved. The result? —a transparent façade when seen from either the garden or the street. The façade appears like a waterfall flowing downward, scattering light and filling the air with freshness.

Captions

The glass block façade weighs around 13 tons. The supporting beam, if constructed of concrete, would therefore be of massive size. Employing steel frame reinforced concrete, we pre-tensioned the steel beam and gave it an upward camber. Then, after giving it the load of the façade, we cast concrete around the beam and, in this way, minimized its size.”

2715-architecture-design-muuuz-magazine-blog-decoration-interieur-art-maison-architecte-hiroshi-nakamura-nap-optical-glass-house-hiroshima-03 glass brick

Photographs : Nacasa & Partners

Pour en savoir plus, visitez le site d’Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP. 

Source and more info here: Contemporist

– Sharyn O’Mara

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