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WHOLE TO PART Yang Li instructor: jose sanchez


CONTENT Introduction

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Metabolism

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System

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Optimization

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Mass-Customization

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rEFERENCE

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WHOLE TO PART

Name: Yang Li Tutor: Jose Sanchez

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Now and in the forseeable future, the architecture is always a whole assembled by parts. As architects have been studying a lot about how the parts contribute to the whole, this research will focus on how the part in architecture to be regarded as the whole by analysing Nakagin Capsule Tower. PARTS IN ARCHITECTURE When we talked about the ‘parts’, we always considered them as standard and unbreakable pieces that can collectively form a whole. However, is the ‘part’ also a ‘whole’ that formed by smaller ‘parts’? If the answer is yes, that means the architecture can be recursively broken into smaller parts in different hierarchies. For example, structure system overall can be regarded as a part of a building, and then it can also be broken down into beams and columns. In this logic, there are multiple hierarchies in all the buildings. Besides, the part doesn’t have to be physical or visible but can also be conceptual, like program and space. The more hierarchies to be broken down from the whole, the more possible design combinations can be formed. To identify more hierarchies, architects need to rethink the defined parts.

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METABOLISM Among all the important movements in architectural history, metabolism is the most obvious one that highlights the importance of parts and its relationship to the whole. It rooted from the philosophy of traditional eastern architecture and developed its own to explain how the architecture works like a living organism which needs to consistently update itself. Even though it failed because of its too futuristic theory, some impressive work was kept and is now inspiring the architecture in many different ways that its inventor might not even expected. The Nakagin Capsule Tower is one of the most important cases. The form of the tower already issues a strong statement about its emphasis on the parts. According to the design intention, all the cubic living units need to be taken down and renovated every 25 years. Although it was never realized, this concept led the project to be an almost part-centered design. Due to the unique way of how it define architecture, the design reveals more possibilities, for example, the combination of cubes formed the facade pattern of the building. PROBLEM AND POTENTIAL In the short history of Nakagin capusle tower, it has faced at least two dissussions about its demolition even though everyone admits the importance of this building. The main reason was the quick decay of the building and the unrealistic scheme of renovation. Besides those maintenance problems, The discussions also indicated that there are also design problems that can


be improved or there is potential that Kisho Kurokawa’s design had not fully realized yet.

However, there are two potential mistakes that might be made by Masscustomization. The first is turning in the design responsibility completely to the users. Certainly, the person who knows his/her demand best must be himself/herself, but without the education or experience in architectural design, what they see and think will easily be superficial and deflected. The second is complete abandoning Mass-production. Even though 3d-print techinque is becoming more reliable, it is hard to see it construct the entire building with enough speed and reasonable price in the near future. If the Masscustomization relys too much on newly coming technology to build unique pieces at once, its realization in real practice will delay forever. Therefore, with the concept of regarding parts as whole which can be further broken down, Mass-customization may be achieved by the accumulation of Mass-production. For example, to design customized living unit, the neccessary parts of it can be standardized while arranged according to different demands based on a set algorithm system. The drawings and text below will explain more about the topics and concepts mentioned above.

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MASS-CUSTOMIZATION Considering the current social situation and demands, Mass-Customization might become an advanced version of the coming-back Metabolism. They both focus on switching the living unit from identical and standard to more demand-based. However, Mass-customization will be way more powerful to fullfil unique demands and embed the possibility for the future renovation in the intial design.

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Among the problems, the most serious one is the singularity of its circulation. The only way for the user to get into their units is the straight up-down core. There is not public space or any ohter designed space to enhance communication between people in the building. That may reflect the situation of the society at that time but definitely not suitable any more for now. Moreover, the stack of cubic units actually have formed potential balcony space but is not accessible due to the mass-produced standard unit. Since 1972 when Nakagin Capsule Tower was first built, the technology in architectural design and construction have both been developed so much. With the more advanced tools and theories, Nakagin Capusle Tower could be designed more successfully nowadays in the similar concept.


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Fig. 07.01 Kisho Kuroka, the architect of Nakagin Capsule Tower is a leading Japanese architect and one of the founders of the Metabolist Movement. Looking at his architecture—particularly at metabolism—tradition may not appear to be present, but, underneath the hard skin of the surface, his work is indeed Japanese. However, it is difficult to claim that the modern technologies and material he called on was inherited from the Japanese tradition and that the traditional forms of Japanese architecture can be recognized in his contemporary concrete or steel towers. Yet, Kurokawa’s architecture evolved from the Japanese tradition, and there is a Japanese aesthetic in the context of his work. His architecture focused on keeping traditional Japanese concepts invisible, especially materiality, impermanence,

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receptivity and detail. Kurokawa specifically referred to these four factors in his discussions of new wave Japanese Architecture. On the right page are two of Kisho Kurokawa’s projects.


Fig. 08.01 Agricultural city The basic housing unit (vide) is in the shape of a mushroom, a one to three storied structure with a wooden frame aluminium roof. The mushroom shaped house has a ferro-concrete facility shaft to which living quarters and other facilities are attached. Water, electricity and gas are provided as municipal facilities. The equipment shaft is the center of the mushroom structure as well as the equipment base which provide such architectural equipments as bathrooms, kitchen units, washbasins etc. The surrounding living area is a medium to facilitate circulation of architectural equipments. Fig. 08.02 Takara Beautilion The four-floor framework of the upper structure is composed of steel pipes, forming. It forms a tree structure stretching out in all directions.This

structure is characterized with its potential to extend, or replicate horizontally and vertically depending on necessity. An investigation of structure, whether a structure can expand, shrink, or reduce depending on necessity, in other words, a search for architecture of Metabolism is suggested.

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Fig. 09.01 Traditional Eastern Architecture Break-down Diagram Unlike western architecture which has long history of building with everlasting material, like marble, Traditional Eastern Architecture is mostly wooden structure. The reason is that the ancient eastern people always believe in that buildings should be renovated frequently like the metabolism of living organism. Therefore, comparing to its always changed material, the architectural formation itself is the only thing to stand still, which is also a more cost-efffective way to achieve ever-lasting. Fig. 10.01-10.02 The Metabolism of Ise Grand ShrineThe architectural style of the Ise shrine is known as shinmei-zukuri, characterized by extreme simplicity and antiquity: its basic principles date back to the Kofun period (250-538 C.E.). The shrine buildings

use a special variant of this style called Yuitsu-shinmeizukuri, which may not be used in the construction of any other shrine. The old shrines are dismantled and new ones built on an adjacent site to exacting specifications every 20 years at exorbitant expense, so that the buildings will be forever new and forever ancient and original. The present buildings, dating from 2013, are the 62nd iteration to date and are scheduled for rebuilding in 2033. semper gravida.

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Fig. 11.01 Pre-fabricated Units and On-site construction Construction occurred on site and off site. On-site work included the two towers and their energy-supply systems and equipment, while the capsule parts were fabricated and the capsules were assembled at a factory. Nobuo Abe, was a senior manager, managing one of the design divisions on the construction of the Nakagin Capsule Tower. Fig. 12.01 Construction and Metabolism Kurosawa imagined that the capsules would be updated occasionally with new technologies and replaced completely every 25 years. But the cost of doing so proved too high, and the building has since fallen into disrepair. Fig. 12.02 Connections between parts The cores are rigid-frame, made of a steel frame and reinforced concrete. From the basement to the

second floor, ordinary concrete was used; above those levels, lightweight concrete was used. Shuttering consists of large panels the height of a single storey of the tower. In order to make early use of the staircase, precast concrete was used in the floor plates and the elevator shafts. Because of the pattern in which two days of steel-frame work were followed by two days of precast-concrete work, the staircase was completely operational by the time the framework was finished. On-site construction of the elevators was shortened by incorporating the 3-D frames, the rails, and anchor indicator boxes in the precast concrete elements and by employing prefabricated cages.

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SYSTEM

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Fig. 15.01 Section Drawing The building is composed of two interconnected concrete towers, respectively eleven and thirteen floors, which house 140 self-contained prefabricated capsules. Each capsule measures 2.3 m (7.5 ft) by 3.8 m (12 ft) by 2.1 m (6.9 ft) and functions as a small living or office space. Capsules can be connected and combined to create larger spaces. Fig. 16.01-16.02 Floor Plan Drawings show the interlocking system between two capsules (which can be used to accommodate a small family), a one capsule unit, and the bathroom.

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OPTIMIZATION

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Fig. 21.01 Solar orientation and Shadow Study By analysing the shadow of Nakagin Capsule Tower on Solstice days, we can find that certain units receive way less solar energy and light than others. With the parametric tools, it should be easy to optimize the combination of those units to get better performance in this builidng, and also make the pattern more logical. Fig. 22.01-22.02 Orientation and view of parts To provide each unit good view, Kisho must have put enough effort designing the orientation of units. In the diagram we can see the ratio between south-north units and east-west units is aound 6:4 while the side-window units and frontwindow units is 9:1

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South-North Unit

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Side

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Fig. 23.01-24.01 Kurokawa’s design concept focuses on how to make the most efficient use of living space to accommodate the everyday essentials of a person. He borrowed the “capsule” terminology from the aerospace industry (already aware that many spaceships have implemented the idea of efficient area-usage) and retrofitted a rectangular cabin of 8 feet by 12 feet floor space with a built-in bathroom, double bed, desk, storage spaces, TV, tapedeck, typewriter, calculator, clock radio, and a 2-burner stove. Fig. 24.02 Consisting of 140 individual capsule apartments that were intended

for people who worked in Tokyo during the week, they were all connected to the central beam by just 4, hightension bolts. An element that was a key component of its Metabolist design, meaning the capsules could be replaced over time, allowing the building to adapt and meet changing demands.

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Fig. 28.01 When Kisho Kurokuwa first design the capsule units, what he thought must be providing a high-quality living units that can satisfy most, let’s say 80%, demands of people’s daily need. That was also the idea of most architects when they designed residential buildings. It worked well since the society in the past barely enjoyed more than that. However, with the explosive development in every aspects of our society, people are now not satisfied with the standard ‘80% satisfied’ design. Unfortunately, it is impossible for architects to do customized design for everyone. In this case, Mass-Customization must be realized in an affordable way, which is customized combination of standard parts. To consider the part as a whole, we need to break down the capsule unit. all the funiture

and appliance are parts. Basically, they are all box-based with different dimensions. Fig. 27.01 In this logic, they can be re-arranged to adapt to different demands in the design phase. Moreover, since they all can be standard and the overall capsule space is identical for all the units, the construction price will not go too much higher.

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Fig. 29.01 Cellular Automaton consists of a regular grid of cells, each in one of a finite number of states, such as on and off (in contrast to a coupled map lattice). The grid can be in any finite number of dimensions. For each cell, a set of cells called its neighborhood is defined relative to the specified cell. An initial state (time t = 0) is selected by assigning a state for each cell. A new generation is created (advancing t by 1), according to some fixed rule (generally, a mathematical function) that determines the new state of each cell in terms of the current state of the cell and the states of the cells in its neighborhood. Typically, the rule for updating the state of cells is the same for each cell and does not change over time, and is applied to the whole grid simultaneously, though exceptions are knownIn this project, when the capsules are regarded as parts for the whole building, The concept of cellular automata can be introduced to

make the combination more logical. Fig. 30.01 Recursive Design is another possibility to be invloved into the improvement of this project. Recursion in computer science is a method where the solution to a problem depends on solutions to smaller instances of the same problem (as opposed to iteration). The approach can be applied to many types of problems, and recursion is one of the central ideas of computer science. The concept can be applied to the breaking down of the whole in architecture. Fig. 30.02 Example of whole-part project: BLOCK’HOOD by Jose Sanchez

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REFERENCE 1. Nicolai Ouroussoff, Architecture: Future Vision Banished to the Past, The New York Times, July 7, 2009, Accessed July 7, 2009. MA rc h Arch Th esi s Prep — pa g e 31 —

2. Lin, Zhongjie. “Nakagin Capsule Tower: Revisiting the Future of the Recent Past.” Journal of architectural education 65.1 (2011): 13-32. 3. Hidaka, Jin. “Nakagin Capsule Tower Building.” Tokyo: International Union of Architects 2011 Congress), Congress Circular. 2008. 4. Weston, Richard. Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century: Plans, Sections, and Elevations. WW Norton, 2004. 5. Kurokawa, Kisho. Metabolism in architecture. Tokyo: Studio Vista, 1977. 6. Campi, Mario. Skyscrapers: an architectural type of modern urbanism. Birkhauser, 2000.

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7. Bock, Felicia G. “The rites of renewal at Ise.” Monumenta Nipponica (1974): 55-68. 8. AKIMA, Toshio. “The origins of the grand shrine of Ise and the cult of the sun goddess Amaterasu Ōmikami.” Nichibunken Japan Review (1993): 141198. 9. Tange, Kenzō, and Noboru Kawazoe. Ise, prototype of Japanese architecture. MIT Press, 1965. 10. Wendelken, Cherie. “The tectonics of Japanese style: architect and carpenter in the late Meiji period.” Art Journal 55.3 (1996): 28-37. 11. Tseng, Mitchell M., Jianxin Jiao, and M. Eugene Merchant. “Design for mass customization.” CIRP Annals-Manufacturing Technology 45.1 (1996): 153156. 12. Shalizi, Cosma Rohilla. Causal architecture, complexity and selforganization in the time series and cellular automata. Diss. University of Wisconsin--Madison, 2001. 13. Frazer, John. “An evolutionary architecture.” (1995).


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Nakagin Capsule Tower - Thesis Prep 793a Li Yang  

Nakagin Capsule Tower - Thesis Prep 793a Li Yang USC Thesis prep 2016. Discrete / Mereological Architecture Directed by Jose Sanchez

Nakagin Capsule Tower - Thesis Prep 793a Li Yang  

Nakagin Capsule Tower - Thesis Prep 793a Li Yang USC Thesis prep 2016. Discrete / Mereological Architecture Directed by Jose Sanchez

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