Part of

Author Archive

MORE ABOUT: Sendai Mediatheque – Sendai, Japan

leave a comment »

Sendai Mediatheque

2-1, Kasuga-machi, Aoba-ku
Sendai-shi 980-0821
Built: 1997-2000
Architect: Toyo Ito & Associates
Structural Engineer: Sasaki Structural Consultants
Mechanical Engineers: ES Associates, Sogo Consultants, and Otaki E&M Consultants
Light Design: Light Design Inc.
General Contractor: JV of Kumagi, Takenaka, Ando, and Hashimoto
Site Area: 3,948.72 m2
Building Area: 2,933.12 m2
Total Floor Area: 21, 682.15 m2

The Sendai Mediatheque serves as a library, visual media center, and gallery space in downtown Sendai. The concept behind the building can be broken down into three elements: plate, tube, and skin. “Plate” refers to the floors of the mediatheque, “tube” to the structural columns, and “skin” to the glass curtain wall facade [1].

Original concept of “plate, tube, and skin”

The south facade features a “double skin” of glass with vents to reduce energy costs. “Opening the vents in the summer creates a cooling updraft; closing vents in winter creates an insulating layer of air to seal in heat” [2]. Additionally, the hollow tubes bring in light from the top of the mediatheque’s canopy down into the lower floors.

A schematic of the “double skin” ventilation and light dispersion through hollow structural tubes.

One of the hollow structural columns doubling as a light source

View of the three main elements of the mediatheque: “plate, tube, and skin.” Note that the structural tubes pierce the top of the building and end in a canopy.

(From Architectural Review pg.46)

The thirteen irregularly shaped structural tubes of the mediatheque house all of the buildings systems including HVAC, electric, network cables, stairs, and elevators which provides a seamless interface between the “tubes”, “plates”, and “skin”. The four largest 240mm diameter tubes situated on each corner take most of the load and “provide the necessary seismic bracing.” [3]

Evolution of irregular column design

The “tubes” and “plates” comprise the entire structural system of the building, with “thirteen independent steel-ribbed shafts (tubular columns: mainly steel-tube truss construction) and seven steel-ribbed ‘honeycomb’ slabs of sandwiched steel-plate construction. The basement also features seismic energy-absorbing mechanisms.” [2]

Computer-generated model and elevation detailing the “plates” and “tubes”

[Web Article]

Case Study by: Evan Reschreiter
ARE 320K, Fall 2010
[1] Ito, Toyo. Toyo Ito: 1970-2001. Tokyo: A.D.A Edita, 2001. 190. Print.
[2] “Sendai Mediatheque – Architectural Features.” Sendai Mediatheque. N.p., 2002. Web. 13 Sep 2010.
[3] Webb, Michael. “Layered Media.” Architectural Review. 220.1256 (2001): 46-51. Print.

Photo Credits:

Written by Evan Reschreiter

September 13, 2010 at 4:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized