Design Notebook by Sias SA

Optical Glass House by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

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Optical Glass House by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP, Hiroshima, Japan.

Optical Glass House, by Japanese practice Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP, is located on a lot very close to a busy road and major intersection in the buslting city of hiroshima, with a constant sound-scape of revving engines and screeching trams. The architect therefore, created an acoustically protected tranquil oasis behind a crystal curtain that would still allow views of the city. This buffer space is a beautiful living filter; the impressive glass block facade resting over the wooden garage and entry area conceal behind it a green garden whose trees filter the eastern sunlight and offer a natural haven which all rooms in the program face. The effect is a visually busy exterior environment observed from the silence of the home.

Optical Glass House by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP, image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners.

The transparent wall was not an easy task, however, as 6000 glass masonry units at 50 mm wide do not provide the necessary structure to stand on their own. Seventy-five threaded metal dowels hang from the pre-tensioned beam above the 8.6 m2 facade to guide the glass bricks into perfectly aligned rows, supported by an embedded flat metal bar (40 mm x 4 mm) spaced at 10 cm intervals to help resist lateral forces. The total construction of the optical wall weighs 13 tons and gives the effect of a waterfall refracting views and light.

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A complete glass block, with micro-level surface asperities, image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP.

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Optical Glass House, images © koji fujii / nacasa & partners.

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Construction of glass blocks, images © hiroshi nakamura & NAP.

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Site plan

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Floor plan / level 0

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Floor plan / level 1

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Floor plan / level 2

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Section

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Glass block construction detail

project info:

project name: optical glass house
main purpose: housing
design: hiroshi nakamura & nap co.,ltd.
structure design: yasushi moribe
contractor: imai corporation
location: naka-ku, hiroshima-shi, hitroshima, japan
site area: 243.73m2
total floor area: 363.51m2
completion year: march,2012
structure: reinforced concrete structure

via: designboom