Japanese architects Atelier Tekuto have designed the Twin-Bricks House in Urawa-ku, Saitama, Japan.
The building consists of two wings; one contains five rented apartments (left above) while the owner's family home is in the other.
The family home is set further back from the road than the rental wing in order to accommodate the owner's collection of cars.
Photographs by Makoto Yoshida.
The following information is from the architects:
Twin-Bricks, consists of two wings - the five rental dwelling units and the owner’s two-family house is located in a quiet residential area, just 15 minute-walking distance from the JR Urawa station. In order to secure some space for the owner’s car collections, the Owner wing (RC Wing) stands nearer to the road than the Rental wing (S Wing).
The Rental wing partly has ALC panels as well as glass blocks. This building, based on the “Crystal Brick” completed previously, enables these ALC panels, not only glass blocks, as aseismatic elements in order to improve cost-effectiveness.
The physical similarity of glass blocks and ALC panels was focused and this structure was realized after a series of experiments. As a result of these experiments, it is concluded that the safety of the building is advanced because ALC panels are destroyed before glass blocks.
With ALC panels randomly located, walls, columns and beams cannot be clearly distinguished, therefore, an intriguing spatial composition is materialized.
The RC wing adopted the “RC structure + exterior thermal insulation” construction method developed at the Atelier Tekuto Co., Ltd., with the purpose of alleviating working noise at the garage and securing privacy and performance of the Owner wing.
A huge cost reduction was attempted by using enhanced high-pressure woodwool cement boards and integrating the boards as formworks. Also, original tiles were developed after careful consideration.
The contrast between heavy RC wing and light S wing and between glass blocks and ALC panels, both of which show similar physicality while different materials. The spatial contrast generated here is making the space more exciting.