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2009年01月 アーカイブ


Material Wood

There are over 200 species of trees distributed only within Japan that are used for lumber. Even if the lumber is the same, the characteristics of the trees vary, because they grow in different types of soils and climates. The characteristics that are not shown in the product data are the attraction of using natural material and the difficulty in handling this natural material. Particularly, it is important to have an eye for detecting the characteristics of a solid, untouched wood, and also, to have the knowledge of how to make really good use of it. The first step for the right material in the right place is to know the characteristics of the wood inside and out.
A building is completed by a combination of floors, walls and a ceiling. The material of the surrounding faces plays an important role as a living space. In particular, lumber is the material which provides joy because you can watch this product become more aesthetic as it ages. Considering the ratio of wood to indoor space plays a key factor. Paying attention not to increase the amount of wood materials including furniture is desirable.
Japanese residential buildings have been created using various wooden materials. Selection of wood is important, but is a difficult theme because values are diversified in this present day. Lumber from all over the world gathers in Japan, where the processing techniques are advanced. Nowadays, the lifestyle and values are diversified and globalization of lumber supply is being accelerated, so it is important to go back to the basics to assess the-right-material-in-the-right-place by knowing the characteristics of tree species.



The lighting of CL Sterling & Son is simple but never fails in any kind of space. CL Sterling & Son was launched in 2001 and from the start, it has been attracting people's attention in its home country, the United States. Currently, this brand has accomplished a rapid growth to have branches in 5 countries globally, including Japan. Peter Carlson handles the lighting design which is full of originality.
Peter is working as an interior designer but originally he used to be an actor. However, when he was exposed to the trendy distinct art world in late 1970's to 80's, he became gradually interested in interior design. Later, he actively worked as an interior designer with his sharp sensitivity and liberal ideas, but as he could hardly find his ideal lightings, he himself designed and created various gentle lighting works which would remind everyone of an easing candle flame. Among these works, the piece called "Rock Crystal" which was introduced a year ago, expresses Peter's passion toward lighting. This is produced using recycled glass and craftsmen spend 40 hours on this piece.
CL Sterling & Son's lightings are simple and unique. This beautiful lighting is like an art-form that uses a highly-selected material, and renders a high-quality space while warming the resident's heart.

Interior design : Peter Carlson(CL Sterling & Son, LLC) 


Nakamura Residence

The Nakamura residence stands on a plot land of only 63m2, and is about 15-minute drive from the center of Hiroshima prefecture, situated in the Chugoku district. Usually, when a house is built on a small plot of land, the building-to-land ratio is maximized, but architect Makoto Tanijiri didn't maximize it and planed a residence with some room. With this plan, a form where two boxes are not lined up but piled up was born. The space created by this jolt out of alignment, became an important existence to lead the sunlight into the Nakamura residence.
The residence has a layout with almost no partitions to give an extended feel to the space. A master bedroom and a bathroom are allocated on the 1st floor and the living room, the dining kitchen and a tatami room are on the 2nd floor. On the 3rd floor, other multi-purpose rooms are arranged. The space created by these boxes out of alignment was positioned on the upper part of the bathroom and the living room, and for each room, a skylight was put in. Securing the privacy of the home was considered because it's surrounded by many neighbors. Since the openings are minimized as much as possible, this skylight has a significant role in taking in the sunlight. The openings are established in other places but they are all for the purpose of ventilation except the door to get in and out from the terrace.
As based on Tanijiri's idea that when the lighting apparatus gets in a view, the beauty of the space is impaired, the minimum amount of lighting was fixed. The sockets for other lamps' plug-ins placed on the floor, are covered up so they don't stand out.


Nakamura Residence

The Nakamura residence stands on a T-shaped plot of land which extends bigger in the back, in a quiet residential area of Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. There is an annex on the north side which looks like it floats in midair. From there, you proceed along the 15m long drive and the land plot spreads from east to west. In general, for this shape of land plot, a big opening is usually established on the south side but the owner wanted to minimize the openings and wanted the space where the lighting stands out.
Architect Kenichiro Niizeki put a bedroom and a bathroom on the 1st floor and the living and dining kitchen are on the 2nd floor, where a slit-like opening lets the sunlight come in quietly. The 1st floor is unified in a dark color. On the contrary, the 2nd floor has white as its color base. The whole residence is finished with a calm atmosphere but the images of the 1st and 2nd floors are dramatically changed by this color scheme. The lighting placed on the ceiling is minimized, and various lamps that the owner owned from before decorate the space nicely. Currently, despite a bright and open residence being the ideal in Japan, this space, fused by the architect and resident's sensibilities, make us re-realize the beauty that can be created by a lighting nuance.


Lighting Study

Sunlight shines brightly through a large window filling this residence with brightness and wind. In Japan, an importance is placed on the sunlight and a large opening is a must for a comfortable residence.
However, is this kind of open and bright residence really comfortable? Of course, considering the Japanese climate of high temperatures and high humidity, a dark and poorly-ventilated residence cannot be comfortable. But having actually lived in this kind of house, one can hardly stand the summer heat, which is so unbearable it makes one exhausted both physically and mentally.
On the other hand, how is it at night? When the lights are turned on, since the inside of the house can be seen through a large window, curtains or screens need to be drawn to avoid exposure. Moreover, in most houses, the lighting is fixed on the ceiling and lights up the indoor equally that there is no delicate mood or subtle ambiguities.
In short, modern Japanese residences create a life where people spend their daily lives under bright and planar lightings, either by day or by night. The beauty in the nature of lighting doesn't exist, and it doesn't go beyond the functional range. The reason for the residences becoming so well lit and bright stems from the post-war vestige where "quantitative" brightness became the symbol of wealth. The dimness of old houses is remembered as a past legacy and the homogeneously-lit houses have been established as the image of the modern residence.
Fundamentally, light exists because of a shadow. By placing an importance on shadows, the quality of space can be increased. It doesn't matter whether it's natural lighting or artificial lighting. In this article, we examine how to plan the lighting from both architectural and interior perspectives, positioning the daylight and night light as one sequence, to shift from quantity to quality and also, to improve one's awareness towards lighting.


Claesson Koivisto Rune

Marten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune studied together at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1995, these three started up an architectural design partnership called "Claesson Koivisto Rune." Even though it's been only 14 years since its launch, it became the representative design office of Northern Europe. Since they began, "Claesson Koivisto Rune" has handled over 200 product designs, more than 100 interior designs, and 15 architectural projects.
Since the early 20th century, a culturally wealthy lifestyle has been promoted to Swedish citizens. The idea of people living in beautiful and comfortable environments has brought a large economic effect, and has taken root in Sweden from long ago. With this background, the house manufacturer, ARKITEKTHUS hoped that more people could live in houses designed by architects, and requested 4 different architectural offices to design houses for installment sales. One of those 4 offices was Claesson Koivisto Rune. The house they designed is modern, with an exterior appearance that blends in with the environment of traditional Swedish barns of farm since that was the inspiration behind the design. This residence they created has all glassed-in windows on the south and north sides on the 1st floor, and glassed-in windows were put in on the east and the west sides on the 2nd floor. The space became bright and full of sunlight and the family who actually lives in the residence completed it by adding some optional items from the catalog afterward. The phenomenon where the architect-designed residences become available to the public will influence Sweden greatly.

Bossel Residence Architect : Claesson Koivisto Rune(CKR)


The leading Swedish architect Thomas Sandell grew out of uniformed designs which put an importance on practicality and presents a new playful-minded Swedish design style while still implementing fundamental principles.
The house owner is an architecture developer and asked Thomas to design his summer house in Gotland, Sweden. As the developer wished the house to blend in with nature, the pine lumber used for the exterior wall is painted green so that from the completion date, it would fit in with the environment. The house structure is made to enjoy the nature from the inside of the house. The building has the 1st floor and a loft. Each room is positioned surrounding the courtyard like a square. The windows of the living room, the dining room and bedrooms are adjusted to view thick cedar trees in its surroundings. He also considered the natural environment from the material selection and construction stage, so he used all Gotland materials such as panels for the exterior, limestone for the floors and concrete for the bathtub. By using the local materials, CO2 discharge during transportation can be reduced and it is common sense to do it this way in Sweden. Contrasting with the hard impression of the exterior appearance, the inside of the house is all white including white-painted floors, limestone floors and the concrete fireplace, all giving off a soft impression. Responding to various conditions flexibly, the space where people can spend their time comfortably was created.

Hogastrom Residence Architect : Thomas Sandell



The old-established interior shop, "SVENSKT TENN" is located on the south side of the Ostermalm district in Stockholm, Sweden. Natural sunlight shines in the shop where organic and brightly-colored original furniture are lined up. In 1924, Swedish designer Estrid Ericson and Nils Fougstedt started to create classic art works that are made of pewter in 1927, and they opened the shop in its the current location. In 1933, Austrian architect Josef Frank joined them. The furniture and textile design that he has done has a good reputation abroad, becoming the premier leader of Swedish design.
An interior shop, "ASPLUND" that is in the same district as "SVENSK TENN", was started by Thomas and Michael Asplund brothers. Currently, Swedish designers who are active in the global front lines like Pia Wallen and Ingegerd Raman in addition to foreign designers provide their design works to ASPLUND. Their original rugs that are manually-handled from the dying process to the finishing process, using 100% high-quality New Zealand wool, became the topic of conversation every time a new design was introduced.
Sweden is where design is imbedded in people's daily lives as an industry. People in this country have the ability to assess authentically good designs for themselves, and therefore they can spend their daily lives happily. This may be why Sweden is called the kingdom of design.

Strandvagen 5, box 54788

Sibyllegatan 31 SE-114 42 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN


Artist Pia Wallen's atelier/home is located along Narvavagen Street that extends from Karl square, in the center of Stockholm.
What made her most famous are her felt slippers. She gets inspiration from Swedish materials, traditional techniques and the typical climate of there. She reflects this felt with long history on the modern design, without abandoning the traditional process of manufacture. Felt slippers fit comfortably on the feet and they gradually get warm with one's body temperature. They appear to be a typical Northern European design, emphasizing functionality. A Cross is often used as a motif for Pia's works and it is a symbol of the Bible that influenced her most strongly. Also, she uses the cross, because she was largely influenced by the Gulf War in those days. The cross is also the Swedish symbol of hope and indicates the meeting point for the vault of heaven. Another piece of representative work is a blanket designed in the year when the Gulf War began and naturally, the cross became a motif.
For Pia, the appeal of designing in Stockholm is "I, myself, adore this city. The designers here know each other, help each other and learn from each other so that they can work productively."

Pia Wallen AB
Narvavagen 7 114 60 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
TEL+46-0-8-665-33-29 e-mail: info@piawallen.se

About 2009年01月

2009年01月にブログ「I'm home (NEWS / ENGLISH)」に投稿されたすべてのエントリーです。新しい順に並んでいます。




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