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.

 

 

a walkthrough of the house
video © hiroshi nakamura (main image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners)

 

 

the transparent wall was not an easy task, however, as 6,000 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.

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
(left) street-side facade
(right) glass block texture from the exterior
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
optical effects of the glass block facade
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
front garden
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
reflecting pool and trees make resemble a natural environment
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
8.6 x 8.6m glass block facade
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
shown with human scale
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
living room opened with retractable glass sections
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
view towards the garden
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
dining area
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
cabinets and storage hidden in the wall
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
(left) stairs
(right) entrance vestibule
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
bedroom looking out towards garden
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
bathroom
image © koji fujii / nacasa & partners
 

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
glass casting from borosilicate
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
slow cooling process resolved internal stress in the block
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP

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

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
metal plate is embedded into the block
image © hiroshi nakamura & NAP

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

 

 

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
site plan

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
floor plan / level 0

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
floor plan / level 1

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
floor plan / level 3

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
section

hiroshi nakamura & NAP: optical glass house
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