Iidabashi First Building

Situating the work within the method of architecture、appealing so much to the general audience.

 Virtualization of the sense of reality and producing more real and intense

 This time I have focused my angle upon the way of producing the maitenance balcony which was set as though “a place to show”. It is set out of the elevator hall in the Iidabashi First Building. The floor of the elevator hall continues smoothly to the floor of the balcony in the same elevation and on the tip there is no riser but only a simple parapet of stainless steel pipe. Then you almost feel as if ” your body gets through the wall and drift in the air”. This feeling can be experienced every time you stand in this elevator hall facing the balcony. I can,t help imagining that there is something here calling on your unconsciousness that your body is free to jump out into the air. Though of course there is actually a glasswall preventing you to do so. You might call it a certain “ way of producing the place ” stimulating on your consciousness to let you jump out. I came to call this new sensibility ” a virtual sense of drifting”.

 Now, kindly take a look at some photographs shown.
  And liberate your mind looking toward the maintenance balcony seen directly outside the elevator hall.

 You won,t feel this way on the east side of the corridor where there is same kind of balcony set.

This is because there is a riser of the parapet attached. Also take a look at the “staircase” in the north side. Where the curtainwall and the landing meet there is a 67mm gap between the transom of the curtainwall and the floor of the landing and that you can see through the sight below. It makes you dizzy. Since there is no balcony here, the eye sight goes staightly downward and you can even catch the sight of plants and bushes on the ground. Here,before you feel the comfort of flying out into the air, you almost feel scared. You feel dizzy as though you would be absorbed into the ground.

 Yes, in the balcony of the elevator hall you do “not see down below ,the ground” but instead you are lead to see the horizontal sight of the sky beyond. And so you,ll get the feeling of drifting away into the sky from the floor as if your body goes flying “smoothly” in what you might call an illusion,“a virtual sense of drifting” Because of the large transparent glass wall , you almost feel that there is no division between inside and outside, Specifically there is set a super flat floor continuing to outside in the same elevation. And at last the presence of super simple parapet signals you that you are free to jump out into the sky. Hence, I might name this scenery seen over the glasswall inviting your consciousness to let you jump out “a virtualized reality”.

This design producing a drifting, floating atmosphere leading your consciousness toward the sky, and the floor inside continuing to outside directly, I had experienced at the highest floor of the lens hall at Tokyo International Forum. Since there was such a simple parapet set at the space outside the glass wall, it was given an impression so open as almost dangerous if you could really get outside.

There are other examples seen beside this. One is at the Kience Building on the floor where there is a presidential office (Although I have seen only through the photograph from “The Details of Nikken Sekkei Co.”). Presenting the openness as well, it is designed in a most initiative sense of the era

Another example is a maitenance balcony by the elevator hall in the adjacent building,(Sumitomo Fudosan Iidabashi Building) where you can experience this strange sense again. I had been pondering over for what this feeling meant for quite a long time. Now I have come to think that it is a suitable design well thought out , timely expressing the virtual sense of floating and drifting of the era.

Incidentally, this virtual sense of floating and drifting seems to me somewhat to be related to what might be called ,the initiative sense of the era in this era of juvenile suicides and murders or even to the sense of juveniles being not afraid of death. Nowadays juveniles seems to be possessed with the sensibility even familiar to death unawares. However ,what this kind of design (like in this building) means possibly designing the unconscious sense seems to announce the beginning of objectifying this unconsciousness. Designing the unconscious sense of the era may stand for an act escaping from this unconsciousness. Isn,t it so that the sense of virtualization has begun to be objectified and designed? It is such kind of a sense where bonds in reality cease for a moment that you can jump out anywhere(even easily to death) in this era of information technology where information rather than the fact and reality moves the reality. Though of course this is not referring directly to the problem of juvenile death

In the meantime, I have found out that there is another type of sense of the era in a set with this virtual sense .It is opposite to this sense of drifting and it seeks for the sense of actuality, the reality. The previously stated design of the landing of (the stairway) explicitly shows that you are standing at a high place and it is assuring the reality that you exist there . (The setting of the glass curtain wall without the parapet where the sight below is seen) Nowadays I find there is sometimes a hurdle in designing the stairway. Designing the stairway with real sense of height is up to be criticized as dangerous . So admitting all the elements so far, there seems to be no limit to the way of designing architecture yet.

There is another place in this building where you can meet this “sense of reality” There are glass boxes built, one in the elevator hall first floor and the others, in the office above 6th floor. The roofs of the setback built building are glass made. Opinions may say, “How come a glass box, a glass roof in the office building?” The answer is not just that it is producing the openness, but that you can experience the natural phenomenon, the rain. The rain is collected on the the glass roof and falls down the height of stairwell, showing a glass wall full of rain. Yes,this glass box is an apparatus for experiencing rain(sense of reality)! Watching the rain pouring down the glass wall you are to feel at once the action of nature existing (there) just over one single glass. Simultaneously you are to recognize that the apparatus guarding you from rain can be set so simple and even armless. Of course this experience was only possible due to the glass box without the sash. Naturally I was overjoyed by this experience of rain. I even want to experience more rain such as that of typhoon and I can hardly wait.

A hope and a will to overcome the present state can be seen in such kind of architecture as this project where a sense of reality is assured appealing naturally even to the general audience. Whether it succeeds or not depends totally upon the diligent work of daily blind operation

To tell the truth, I now conceive that the spring for the juvenile delinquency of the era lies even in the phenomenon in“the sense seeking for more sense of reality”. But apart from this phenomenon, the sense of reality was designed within the method of architecture as well. An attempt to liberate the unconscious sense of the era has been pursued and designed in a different way from that expression of murdering, if murdering may be considered an expression of the era. . My talks are only intuitive and the degree and the depth of the liberation are totally yet to find. But it was conceived at last that this sense of reality for architecture was a concept of modern architecture, where the inner space wanted to become the outer space. So it is like playing tag, where virtualization of the sense of reality is chased by the realization of virtual sense(more real and intense) and vice versa. In my conclusion I have begun to think so about the present state of architecture.                                  

                  The End     000527


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