A floating object:
Toyo Ito is a Japanese architect who has defined his career by combining elements of minimalism and cutting edge new technology. In a way these elements merge both traditional and contemporary traits of Japanese culture.
Toyo Ito designed the Sendai Mediatheque in Japan in 1995 with concepts of organic architecture in mind. His ideas for this design were inspired by seaweed floating in an aquarium and when put into action, his building exhibits a sense of levitation and fluid space. A sense of levitation is seen in this building from the combination of the transparent hollow columns and a transparent glass facade which holds up seven opaque horizontal platforms. The columns function as light source as well as storage for all of the utilities, networks and systems. Light plays a key role in this design. During the day, spaces are filled with natural light running through the hollow columns and at night, the entire building glows from artificial lights. The columns are made of many thick steel beams and are all different diameters. All thirteen columns are not straight and they appear to sway back a forth which gives a sense that the floors are floating between each level like rippling water in the aquarium. The intentions of designing a transparent space to allow complete visibility to the surrounding community enhances the purpose of this building as it is a public library and everyone is welcome.
I see the Chau Chak Wing UTS building as being heavy and earth bound. I can imagine this building being exaggerated into floating planes following the same method of Toyo Ito, by modifying the concrete columns and opaque facade. I chose this building as I think the human activity which happens within can afford to be seen by the public.
I wanted to replicate the same method seen by Toyo Ito in relation to the columns, hence I reduced them and allowed sections of transparency. I also chose to lift my inspired design off ground level to emphasis a sense of lightness of the building as Toyo Ito’s designs are ‘light and random’.
- ConceptMODEL (no date) Available at: http://conceptmodel.tumblr.com (Accessed: 21 August 2016).
- mediatheque, sendai (2014) Concept and service. Available at: http://www.smt.jp/en/about/ (Accessed: 24 August 2016).
- Sveiven, M. (2011) AD classics: Sendai Mediatheque / Toyo Ito. Available at: http://www.archdaily.com/118627/ad-classics-sendai-mediatheque-toyo-ito (Accessed: 22 August 2016).