© Job Wassenberg & Lex Te Loo


Job Wassenberg & Lex Te Loo

Tokyo, Japan

Job Wassenberg & Lex Te Loo

© Job Wassenberg & Lex Te Loo



Living in Tokyo in the 21st century brings unpredictable conditions and mix-use environments packed in a high dense urban fabric. Our proposal intents to shine new light on dealing with these topics. Avoiding the use of fixed typologies and using a much more plastic approach we can renew our thinking of space. 
Can we imagine a living environment that would constantly change according to our needs and desires? Can we think of a desire as a space around a person? One person's volume adapts to the cubical meters needed for the activity. But with more people involved, space has to be negotiated and the negotiation will create a dynamic, nearly sculptural composition of volumes. Eventually, these dynamic volumes lead to a living community that constantly calibrates the balance between social collectiveness and individual desire.To give this vision a framework we propose to organize a mix of activities using 400 kinetic beams allowing an endless array of space configurations. The beams, like a climber between a mountain gap, hang between two walls. Each beam has a sphere on both sides. The sphere is actuated by a steering wheel and allows the beam 360 degrees of freedom. A soft layer of rubber on the walls allows for extra grip. Finally, a piston allows the beam to always provide enough pressure against the wall. 
From this cloud of beams a space is created between two dynamic forces. Firstly the beams always want to pack as close together as possible. Secondly the user wants to inhabit the space between the beams providing him shelter. Via playful gestures the user learns to increase the porosity of the pack making openings to the outside, the user can influence the transparency of the walls around him and increase the light intensity in his space. Once a space is formed the user can open one of many doors situated in a side wall. This opens to a second space which functions as a cabinet of curiosities, containing all the collected objects of the inhabitants. Also the more fixed services like plumbing and water connections are situated here, allowing the main area to be configured freely. 
This double span house can organize a mix of activities. From quiet residential patio spaces, open working spaces to a tribune for the adjacent street. The relations between the activities start to blend. When you want to sleep, but your neighbour still enjoys his sake, the skin between you and your neighbour gradually changes. From transparent to translucent and finally to pitch-black when the beams bundle closer and closer together. Squeezing even further the transparent rubber coatings of the beams can secure water tightening. Now a facade to the outside can be made anywhere inside the volume. Blending the inside-outside relation, allows your top neighbour to create a patio when he wants to. But increasing the proximity between the beams opens up the whole building, allowing sunlight to reach a yoga class at the ground floor or opens up a small concert to the street. Activities start to react on activities and skins gradually change. 
Besides activity to activity, can we imagine different speeds of change? What is its behaviour per season? Thicker walls in the winter while opening up completely in the summer? Or what if the neighbor's proliferating tree starts to negotiate? Does this slow down the change? When does it reach its equilibrium? 



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