Nishiji Gallery and Office / Compass
A description of the text provided by the architect. The project site is located along the Chiba Kaido in the historic part of Nishifunabashi on the Chiba Kaido, near the Chiba Shrine on a hill with lush pine forests. A client, an art collector who runs a real estate business, planned to build a new building on his parents’ property to accommodate his family’s residence and his company’s galleries and offices. Besides his parents’ home at the northern end of the property, most areas of the straight line near the road were relatively unplanned, with old warehouse buildings and parking lots mixed with lush vegetation. Therefore, our first approach was tilted to organize the entire site so that the lives and workspaces of the two families coexist comfortably, regulate the circulation of the site, and mitigate the level difference between the two buildings. It was to develop a garden.
The new building will house a garage in the middle of the GF and a dwelling on the quiet north side facing the garden. The gallery and office are vertically integrated on the south side towards the national highway, which is the main face of the building. Interpreting the client’s vision for this place, including its cultural commitment to the neighborhood, its appeal to outside visitors, and its exploitation of the possibilities of the suburbs, it is new with a charming design like a “museum with a house”. Not a “house with a gallery” that aimed to incorporate publicity and diversity into the building.
Following the memory of an old warehouse building that has existed on the premises since his grandparents’ generation, custom-designed Kawara, traditional roof tiles, are used for façade cladding. The blackened type Kuroibushikawara, which is resistant to salt damage, has a solid appearance to protect the collection and the lives of the inhabitants. Custom Kawara tiles are designed to achieve two façade types, shingles and louvers, in one shape by changing orientation and fixtures. The Kawara Louver partially opens the rugged roofboard facade and incorporates a view with filtered sunlight and privacy controls from the road.
Above the volume of Kawara, a serrated roof facing north towards the shrine’s pine forest brings the abundant northern sunlight desired for art space into the building. The volume of the staggered wooden construction is high on a washed concrete block that resembles the base of a castle. The twist of the two structural grids, the timber structure directed northward onto the concrete structure according to the site geometry, characterizes the spatial experience by creating various gap spaces such as canopies and terraces distributed throughout the building. ..
The south side of the building, which includes the three floors of the gallery / office, stands out in the urban structure, but the volume of the building decreases northward according to the Building Standards Act and shifts to residential size towards the garden. The roof pitch of the seven serrated roof units depends on each height and internal usage to incorporate proper sunlight. Those structural frames around the north window form a Vierendeel truss, allowing for unusually long span spaces as a timber structure.
The three steep roofs in the south serve as skylights full of sunlight in the 3rd floor gallery. The three calm roofs on the north side serve as residential windows that provide views of the sky and garden, in addition to the stable brightness of an artist’s atelier. The central outdoor roof covers the multipurpose terrace on the 2nd floor and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a gallery exhibition / event space or a kids playground that acts as a shortcut path from the living room to the workspace. Keep a comfortable distance between public and private.
As the structural system and sunlight conditions change, spatial characters move vertically from a coarsely closed space, such as the GF’s cave, to a bright space open to the sky under the roof. Considering the collection and future potential of a wide range of clients from contemporary art to antiques, in addition to the main gallery, various interstitial spaces are planned for flexible usage and potential exhibition space. .. Extending the journey to the spacious outdoor terrace and outside landscape, visitors can enjoy a walk or experience a dynamic spatial sequence with a variety of materials and sunlight.
Featuring a Kawara façade and serrated roof, this new cluster marks a new era at this historic site as a generous field for a comfortable mix of artwork, residents and visitors. Beyond the original idea of building just for a personal collection, our delight and encouraged clients use this building to bring more visitors and public exposure to new art. I decided to start a business. We hope that this architecture will not only support the enjoyable and affluent daily life of living in a museum, but will also be a reliable base for art and culture that will appeal to the world.