N’dam

2010 -

‘cliff’ would be a better suited word for this site than a ‘slope’. This is a project to construct a small housing complex between the main house that stands on the ‘cliff’ and the front road.
Raising a ‘leaning-type retaining wall’ that would balance with the earth load seemed to be an advantageous solution along the perpendicular direction of the cliff. The retaining wall was adopted along the cliff’s contour that would create, combined with a deck slab, a section plan that looks like a C-shape with an open side. When the two types of retaining walls are extended in a smooth sequence so that they create an arch effect along the horizontal direction as well, the overall result is reminiscent of an arch dam filled with earth instead of water. The arch itself is subtly distorted, truly reflecting the asymmetric topography.
Whereas it is common for a building site to be developed in terraces, here the site is developed in an “arch dam”. However, the C-shaped retaining wall alone can hardly resist the earth load on its own. And this is when architecture finally comes into the picture as the “short strut”. The latter consists of a pair of void slabs. In this case, structure of lot (= retaining walls) was originally invited for the purpose of building an architecture at a cliff. It is only natural for the architecture’s side to cooperate in complementing the lot side to achieve the initial goal to create an architecture.
Here is an ideal example of symbiosis between architecture and structure for building site.

location Nishinomiya-City, Hyogo
principal use Apartment house
construction area 344m2
structure reinforced concrete
1 basement and 5 stories