Debating within... Should buildings be architecturally designed 'INNOVATIVE & UNIQUE'... or... 'WEIRD & UNWARRANTED themes'?

Yesterday night, while editing the final version of the post scheduled to be published today here at BRICKS-n-MORTAR, we happen to take a tea break and took some more time off to check & prune our mailboxes as well as the network links that we follow.

One of such many updates was from ArchDaily, a daily architectural content website, the recent entry of which derailed us from what we were doing that very point of time.  The entry, in subject, inadvertently got us into sort of an informal debate among ourselves, which we now think, could well be posted today instead of the earlier planned post and be shared with our readers to have their insight also.


The debate started after looking at one of the architectural entries out of a total of eight there in this very update at ArchDaily, which was titled 'SHIP' and was a submission by some Japanese Architect agency, called Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates with their reported postal address indicating them to be located at Takarazuka, Hyogo, Japan.

The subject entry 'SHIP' made us follow its 'Read more' hyperlink in the received update mailer for two reasons--
  • ONE,  the picture accompanying the entry was looking somewhat weird as compared to other content in the mailer;  and
  • TWO,  the seemingly weirdness of the entry made us more so very inquisitive to find out as what in the first place was the idea behind such a design?!!
This is how the house looks like... (reproducing and sharing the pictures of this weird looking entry from ArchDaily as ready reference)

Now, having visited their respective hyperlinks, this is what the website mentions about the Japanese architect agency's design:
A residence built on a two-tiered site with a level difference of 3 meters. Because of the concern remained about the credibility of embankment and retaining wall built along the housing development, the foundation was laid on natural ground beneath the lower tier which was more reliable as the supporting stratum. The steel-made volume for public rooms floats over the retaining wall and above the upper tier for better view. Private rooms are arranged along the lower tier where the atmosphere is calm, at a distance from the front road, within a reinforced concrete structure which functions as a counterbalance to the overhanging volume.
...The result is in fact much reminiscent of a ferryboat, in terms of both structure and layout, in which passenger decks and floating section are separated up and down with the vehicle decks in between.
Cor-ten steel used for the structure of this house’s first floor and up is entirely untreated on the surface and bare, expected to be covered with stable rust in the future. Contrastingly, the interior surfaces –floor, wall, ceiling- are finished uniformly white with elaborate thermal insulation. Combined with their curved forms, it is intended that a neutral space with a feeling of loss of depth is created.

Despite reading the details and looking at various pictures of this weird-looking building, we couldn't be convinced as why foundations (deep foundations and/or pile foundations, etc.) couldn't be possible in the front half of the building, which could have let the building have some meaningful and natural shape? Moreover, we don't think this design could have been economic considering the fact that enormous quantity of steel structure would have been put in use to support such gigantic unsupported cantilevered upper storey part. The RCC overhang would also have been of larger volumes so as to provide a balancing counterweight.

All in all, we debated and debated for hours to find any reasonable meaning in designing such weird-looking buildings (apologies though to the conceiving Japanese architect agency in case we have not been able to understand their concept!!)

Let us ask now BRICKS-n-MORTAR readers to help take the debate further to some concluding decision as what such designs be termed as---  


BTW, here's showing the picture of another entry of the same mailer, which is differently conceptualized, but is still looking amazing. Have a look! What do you say for this?

Source: ArchDaily

Suggested stuff of similar interests:
A Visual Dictionary of Architecture       Modern Architecture (Oxford History of Art)       The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects (Ziggurat Book)

Found this post useful and informative? 
SUBSCRIBE to get B-n-M's updates in your mailbox or get the RSS Feeds in the reader of your choice

About Unknown

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  1. Really Nice designs in the pictures

  2. We totally agree with you, Prashant.
    But, does it mean that you are voting 'thumbs-up' for the first picture (at top of this post) too?


Hi! 'Team Bricks-n-Mortar' appreciates your writing-in to us. Your suggestions/ comments/ feedback/ contributions help us bettering our blog.

Join Us for having a meaningful symbiotic experience and relationship with our community. We would love to be of an help to you.

Thanks and regards,

[Note: In case one opts for "NAME/URL" link, one has the option to write OR DO NOT write the "URL" (hyperlink). One may only write his/her name and click "submit" also]