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HIGHLIGHT: HIROSHI NAKAMURA

HIROSHI NAKAMURA

HIGHLIGHT: HIROSHI NAKAMURA

Hiroshi Nakamura is a Japanese architect born in 1974. He graduated from the School of Science and Technology, Meiji University in 1999 and worked at Kengo Kuma & Associates (1999-2002). After that he established his own practice in 2002 Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Architects.

Although at an early age, Tokyo-based Hiroshi Nakamura already has an impressive line-up of projects under his belt that have been honored with many awards. Nakamura is probably best known for a style of domestic architecture characterised by a particular sensitivity to nature.

HIROSHI NAKAMURA

Dancing trees, Singing birds, 2007

This is a housing complex situated in a prime location in Tokyo. The rear of the site has a grove of trees 40 meters wide that are growing on a slope. Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Architects decided to formulate a design that provided maximum volume while cutting as few of these trees as possible. This did result in rooms that have irregular external shapes, but it was a result of accepting the natural environment as it is. Creating a building that responds in a localized manner to the trees rather than cutting down or trimming the trees is similar to how birds build their nests. This should bring about a new awareness and criticism of architecture that commits the original sin of destroying the environment.

Dancing trees, Singing birds
Dancing trees, Singing birds

Optical Glass House, 2012

This house is sited among tall buildings in downtown Hiroshima, overlooking a street with many passing cars and trams. To obtain privacy and tranquility in these surroundings, the architect placed a garden and optical glass façade on the street side of the house. The garden is visible from all rooms, and the serene soundless scenery of the passing cars and trams imparts richness to life in the house. 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.

Optical Glass House
Optical Glass House
Optical Glass House
Optical Glass House

Nasu Tepee, 2013

Passing through fields and woodlands, the building lies along the forest path in a grove of mixed trees. The clients wanted to reserve as much of the environment as possible and to live in the surrounding woods. Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP avoided large-scale construction and a majority of felling to build the rooms on the few remaining flat surfaces of the sloping ground, as if sewing them together. It is similar to primitive spaces seen in the houses of the Jomon People (Ancient Japanese) and Native Americans. The structure of the house initiated a lifestyle with close interaction, because the family sat along the low wall facing each other. A fire, a light or a table was set in the middle to initiate conversation as the family gathered around the center. The architecture has had an influence on people’s habits and it strengthened the connection and bond of the family.

Nasu Tepee
Nasu Tepee

Sayama Forest Chapel, 2014

Shrines and chapels in Japan are often so much more than religious sites; rather, they are places where the living can simultaneously greet the deceased and tend to some much-needed self-introspection. The Sayama Cemetery is an incredible place to visit if you want to understand this concept for yourself. It is no ordinary cemetery- while it is home to many Japanese ancestors, it also recently gained two gorgeous architectural monuments: the Sayama Forest Chapel and the Lakeside Cemetery Community Hall (2013).

Sayama Lakeside Cemetery is open to various religions and denominations.  It is located in a nature-rich environment adjacent to the water conservation forest, and the site itself is in front of a deep forest. Hiroshi Nakamura envisioned an architecture that reflects on the way of life as it lives by the water conserved by the forest, and eventually returns to this place after death.  Thereupon, the architect found the forest to be the subject of prayer that is mutual to various religions and conceptualized an architecture that prays to the forest while surrounded by trees.

Sayama Forest Chapel
Sayama Forest Chapel
Lakeside Cemetery Community Hall
Lakeside Cemetery Community Hall

Ribbon Chapel, 2014

The chapel is midway on a hill enjoying a panoramic view of Seto Inland Sea of Japan. Mainly used for weddings, the chapel stands in a garden of a resort hotel, in Onomichi, Hiroshima. A wedding chapel is originally a building type that consists of passage. The aisle a bride walks down with her father becomes the departing passage for the bride and groom, and along the way is filled with profound memory and emotion. By entwining two spiral stairways, we realized a self-supporting structure that architecturally embodies the act of marriage in a pure form. It is essentially an architecture purely composed of flow of movement.

Ribbon Chapel
Ribbon Chapel

Half Cave House, 2018

It is a house where there are two contradictory spaces: an open large space and an intimate small space. The Living/Dining/Kitchen space is gently segmented with a cylindrical vault roof that floats low above the head, so that many people can be invited, while sustaining it coherence. Originally the vault roof aims to realize a large space with few pillars, but here the focus was for the vault to be a single room, while gently dividing the space. Due to moderate acoustic concentrations created by small vaults, sounds made by family members and their activeities gently pour down from the ceiling. This is similar to a intimacy that a cave brings to people. Inevitably, activities become small, and conversations are in a quiet voice. Wherever you are, there is a space as an extension of your body and you can feel that you are at the center.

Half Cave House

Graz Showroom and Home

Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura used hexagons to generate the layout of this Tokyo home and workplace for a car dealer, while triangular arches create warren-like interiors. The client sought a large space for displaying cars downstairs and a similar large space for collective family living upstairs. Built from reinforced concrete, the building comprises two open-plan floors. Both of these spaces are divided up by triangular-arched openings, creating a honeycomb-like network of six-sided spaces. This arrangement satisfied the client’s need for a large, flexible space for the business, but also created domestic-scale living areas.

Graz Showroom and Home
Graz Showroom and Home

Source: www.nakam.info

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