hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
jan 21, 2013
hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house

‘optical glass house’ by hiroshi nakamura & NAP, hiroshima, japan
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners
all images courtesy of hiroshi nakamura



the lot is very close to a busy road and major intersection in the buslting city of hiroshima, with a constant sound-scape of revving engines and
screeching trams. japenese practice hiroshi nakamura & NAP therefore created an acoustically protected tranquil oasis behind a crystal curtain that
would still allow views of the city. this buffer space is a beautiful living filter; the impressive glass block facade resting over the wooden garage and
entry area conceal behind it a green garden whose trees filter the eastern sunlight and offer a natural haven which all rooms in the program face.
the effect is a visually busy exterior environment observed from the silence of the home.


the transparent wall was not an easy task, however, as 6000 glass masonry units at 50 mm wide do not provide the necessary structure to stand
on their own. seventy-five threaded metal dowels hang from the pre-tensioned beam above the 8.6 m2 facade to guide the glass bricks into perfectly
aligned rows, supported by an embedded flat metal bar (40 mm x 4 mm) spaced at 10 cm intervals to help resist lateral forces. the total construction of
the optical wall weighs 13 tons and gives the effect of a waterfall refracting views and light.



a walkthrough of the house
video © hiroshi nakamura



(left) street-side facade
(right) glass block texture from the exterior
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



optical effects of the glass block facade
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



front garden
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



reflecting pool and trees make resemble a natural environment
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



8.6 x 8.6m glass block facade
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



shown with human scale
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP



living room opened with retractable glass sections
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



view towards the garden
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



dining area
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



cabinets and storage hidden in the wall
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP



(left) stairs
(right) entrance vestibule
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



bedroom looking out towards garden
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners



image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners





glass casting from borosilicate
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP



slow cooling process resolved internal stress in the block
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP



image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP



a complete glass block, with micro-level surface asperities
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP



metal plate is embedded into the block
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP



assembly of the glass masonry wall
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP




site plan



floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level 1



floor plan / level 3






glass block construction detail



project info:



project name: optical glass house
main purpose: housing
design: hiroshi nakamura & nap co.,ltd.
structure design: yasushi moribe
contractor: imai corporation
location: naka-ku, hiroshima-shi, hitroshima, japan
site area: 243.73m2
total floor area: 363.51m2
completion year: march,2012
structure:  reinforced concrete structure

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hiroshi nakamura and NAP architects (9 articles)