Sorte house by A.L.X.

published in: Architecture By Tina Komninou, Oct 09th 2009

photo © Koichi Torimura

The A.L.X. office (Architect Label Xain) creates architecture that speaks for itself. There is no symbolism, no hidden meaning no process that you have to go through to connect with their works. The whole concept is understood with a glance. A pure example of this interpretation is the ‘Sorte’ project. A four-story residence with a lower ground level, which was completed on June 2008 in Shibuya, Tokyo // Japan.

photo © Koichi Torimura

Architects : SAMPEI-Jun.ichi/οΌʽ.οΌ¬.οΌΈ.
Structral engineers: Kume Structural Research & Development Office
Location: Shibuya, Tokyo // Japanγ€€γ€€
Structure: Reinforced concrete
Maximum height: 10,900mmγ€€
Site area: 110.26m2
Built area: 63.00m2
Total floor area: 210.75m2
Underground floor area: 40.00m2
1st floor area: 50.56m2
2nd floor area: 46.00m2
3rd floor area: 60.74m2
4th floor area: 13.41m2
Completion date: June,2008

photo © Koichi Torimura

Looking at this structure in its surrounding cityscape the words that describe it are exactly what it is – 3-dimensional, angular, asymmetrical, cubistic and 3 point perspective. It stands out provokingly but yet invitingly in the sense that you thank this structure for rising on this particular site giving across dynamism and character.

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

The scale of the architecture can only be fully understood if looking at it from the East side. This is because the remaining view points are limited and tight and you can appreciate the language but not the depth of the residence. Due to this the windows that are treated like irregular punched openings are designed in order for the ones looking from the inside out not to feel exposed and for the views outwards to be perceived as dynamic and restricted to a portrait. The light entering within the interior emphasizes the asymmetrically and 3 dimensiality by duplicating the angular shaped openings on the floor or the facing walls. This also carries the primary exterior language inside in the simple method of natural day light. No marriage of materials and finishes just dynamic simplicity expressing a strong statement.

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

The interior is treated exactly as the exterior. The design the finishes and the language is the same with the only inclusion of a timber floor. The primary finishes throughout are reinforced concrete and glazing. All the facilities are designed to meet parallel with the architectural façade. No intrusions of non load bearing walls to create square divisions and private spaces within levels. Open spaces with irregularities and compositions. As true life is after all with no sugar coating but raw and dynamic realism.

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

The pure stark white interior encompasses the simplicity, modernity and minimalistic form needed in these spaces as the structure creates all the character and the focus to be given to.

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

Throughout the interior there are asymmetrical structural elements such as the angular glazing surrounding a door, the small punched openings from the interior and the exposed irregular switches which give emphasis to the whole architectural importance. This interior can be described as loud and busy regarding its structural fixtures but it has control through the simplicity of the finishes creating spaces that these actual irregularities are the primary.

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

Sorte has great balance which you would never imagine or notice if you didn’t look at it for what it is, but instead start complicating it and analyzing it. It does not need any thought it is standing in front of you in the most obvious way. It is loud, strong and has been designed with one language, one idea and one vision.

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

photo © Koichi Torimura

 se plans © A.L.X.

  plans © A.L.X.

sources:

A.L.X. (Architect Label Xain)

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