GALLERY U/a is an annex for storing supercars, located just behind VILLA U/a completed in 2012 (cf. VILLA U/a).
The first inspiration was a vague image of resplendent automobiles outstanding among a landscaped bamboo forest. A building almost invisible is rather preferable for enhancing those main characters, thus it resulted in an entirely transparent figure except its thin roof as possible. The flat cuboid consisted of a square of 13.5m on a side, elevated 3.5m high, is completely glazed on all sides, and features an extremely light-weight steel construction.
The idea of the structural design is ascribed to the following two principles in the history of architecture. One is a catenary curve : originated from the Franciscan priest, Carlo Lodoli, who once proposed a small windowsill delineating the catenary curve at the cloister of San Francesco della Vigna in the early 18th century Venice. The theory was applied to the lattice pattern beams tapering towards edges. The other is a V-shaped column onto which the upper loads are transferred: a memory of Viollet-le-Duc’s conceptual scheme titled Marché couvent proposed in 1865. The column itself is tapered toward the base as well, so that it appears even more slender.
The barely perceivable object evokes an intensity of ephemeral transparency, a glamour represented in Shorin-zu Byobu (folding screen with painting of pine forest) drawn by Tohaku Hasegawa in the 16th century Japan.
Satoshi Okada – Biography
Born in Japan, 1962.
After graduated from MSBD Columbia University 1989, received Ph.D from Waseda
University 1993, and established the firm Satoshi Okada architects 1995. Okada has been awarded several prizes in and out of Japan; one of the most remarkable is the Grand-prix Dedalo Minosse International Prize in Italy, 2006.
The first monograph was published in 2009 by Electa Architettura (Milano) with the introduction – L’architetto Satoshi Okada – by Francesco Dal Co. Works and projects have been published in numerous publications and some films across the world. Satoshi Okada is also a Professor at Chiba University and a Research Fellow at the Toyota Foundation. He has been a Visiting Professor at several institutes and academies abroad.
Satoshi Okada Architects
Tokyo based office. It was founded in 1995 and since then fostered architectural quality at every scale: the studio accepts a limited amount of projects at the same time so that each of them is carefully crafted; all design tasks are pursued in collaboration with a diverse range of professional -engineers, designers, handcrafters- from its onset, resulting in a rather smooth work flow.
The office caters mainly for residential architecture along with building for culture and
leisure. Throughout the years SOA received multiple awards.
Location: Shizuoka, Jp
Program: Private Gallery For Super Cars
Design Period: 2016 – 2018
Size: 182.25 Sqm
Structure: Rc + Steel
Lead Architect: Satoshi Okada
Team – Soa: Lucia Rocchelli, Lisa Tomiyama
Structural Design: Hojo Structure Research Institute
Mechanical Engineering: Akeno Facility Resilience
Contractor: Daido Kogyo Co.
Photo Credits: Hiroshi Ueda, Satoshi Shigeta