Architectural History and Theory: Orientations — Assesment 4: Model/Scale

A floating object (Toyo Ito)

A real life example of a floating building is South Korean born architect: Toyo Ito’s famous Sendai Mediatheque. This effect is achieved by using a series of slabs “suspended” on delicate looking columns, giving it its floating effect. This is definitely the most identifiable and unique characteristics of the project. It can be compared to trees in a forest as the pillars are both tall and vary in size. These holes also have multiple functions besides supporting the entire structure. They provide natural lighting all the way through to the ground floor and provide easy access for networking cables, plumbing, electrical and various other systems that are required.

I have had three main inspirations for my works: the Mediatheque, the Apple store and the Playstation console. My iterations’ floating effect is inspired from Ito’s works, I have replicated his method of fragile looking pillars supporting heavy and bulky slabs. The Apple store has inspired the simplicity, showing transparency through the entire building. The playstation console’s shape inspired the slanted element shown in my 3rd iteration

My Inspirations: Apple Store, Playstation and Toyo Ito’s Mediathique (Figure 1,2 and 3)


The process of my iterations shows the path of how i got from my base models to my final product.

The base models (Fig 1 and 2) were made very similar. This forced me to make a choice as to which direction I would take to create the final product. I ended up choosing the 1st iteration as it looked more sleek and overall more appealing and therefore to me it held a lot more potential to the curved edged one.

My the change in my second iteration was inspired by the Playstaton 4 console. The whole structure is slanted and creates an overall more streamlined look.

For my 3rd iteration I kept the shape relatively the same except I sliced off one end to make it straight while the other was still slanted.

My final design pays homage to Ito’s Sendai Mediathique through the use of holes in the middle slab through which the pillars support the entire structure giving it its “floating” effect. Unfortunately, the glue I first used was not strong enough, so I was forced to use a less subtle substance for this final design.

Base Models (Figure 4 and 5)
2nd iteration (Figure 6 and 7)
3rd Iteration (Figure 8 and 9)
Final Iteration (Figure 10 and 11)


Image of Playstation Console

Image of Apple Store on George Street

Image of Sendai Mediathique

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