minami nagano dental clinic and residence by hiroko tanabe
minami-nagano dental clinic and residence all images by takeshi noguchi
designed by hiroki tanabe, the minami-nagano dental clinic and residence is a complex situated in the suburbs of nagano, japan within a farm village that is surrounded by rice fields and peach orchards. a concrete plate, 300 millimetres thick forms the zigzag structure which is comprised of three shells and two open courtyards. each of the individual shell is used for different purposes: a residence, clinic and waiting lounge. inside the courtyards, two glass boxes are set and used as pathways and entry halls between two adjacent shells. the glass provides transparency throughout the space, people passing through the complex can see the sun or rain falling above their head.
in this area of japan where the building is situated, urban planning laws require that newly-built residences must incorporate public functions. constructing a space solely as an individual residence is not permitted, and so the one-piece geometric unit fulfills this task.
a look into the shell used as a residence
behind the building
one of the two courtyards
pathways between the shells
the three shells use post-tensioned cable in their slabs, requiring no columns or beams and have a useful life span of more than 200 years. the interior structure is built with timber and light-guage steel and can be remodeled without structural constraints. the open concept andfloor to ceiling glass windows offer a good view of the farm village which is also meant to calm patient’s anxiety.
both interior and exteriors are painted white to blend in with the plaster walls of the neighboring traditional ouses. during the evening, indoor lighting overflows from three glass openings (height 2.6m, width10m and 3.3m) with emit soft lights with low color temperature of incandescent lamps.
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