- Mount Fuji Architects Studio
Architecture as a Verb
I often tend to regard “architecture” as a “verb”.
Speaking of “architecture”, it is, of course, usually used as a “noun” representing a general idea. But in Japanese, the word “architecture (建築)” consists of two Kanji characters which means “to build(建)” and “to construct (築)” respectively. Therefore I feel a little bit odd as it would take away the dynamic meaning of “behavior” which is a certain part of the word if refer it only as a noun. So is design process. I tried to keep the impression of “substance constructed” and initial emotions following behind. And in order to achieve that, I exposed the frame structure without “stud wall” concealing it, by which the verb nature of “architecture” would persist.
This “mother’s house” is such an “architecture of verb”. The 6mx6m plan without a single column was made possible by a “lamellar structure” of 4 laminated pine arches that could efficiently resist the out-of-plane forces. The exposure of this major structure system expressed the tectonic organization straightforward.
Like a pyramid hip roof distributing loads from the centre, the lamellar structure accommodated an oculus that allowed natural light and created a gentle internal light environment working with the shape of roof and frame. It also provided the chimney effect ensuring fairly sufficient ventilation in the house which located in a dense residential area. On the other hand, the “solidity and fluidity” of the space was just right balanced through the unclosed diagonal structure, by which a small yet sequential and calm living environment was able to be realized.
For the first time, instead of a construction firm, we signed a contract straight with a master carpenter, by which we were able to get deep involved with craftsmen like a construction supervisor. It also seemed to provide a good opportunity to reflect the architecture of verb as a result of architecture that was “to build” “to construct”. Or, there might be no result in “architecture” since exposure of dynamism in “constructing architecture” naturally brought dynamism of “living a life” into architecture. And these “behaviors” would fuse together and last forever. In that sense, it is that unlikely “architecture of verb”, an uninterrupted continuum of behavior and simultaneously an “endless architecture”, will be “completed”.