OSA Review: T-SA, OxArch Reconstruction Lecture

Takero Shimazaki Architects, a London based and design focused practice, presented by the Takero himself, former Brookes studio tutor and current diploma tutor at London Metropolitan University.

The lecture centered around one of the practices most recent projects and one that Takero feels exemplifies the practices ethos and design process. The recurring theme being the poetry of architecture and the struggles that one must sometimes endure to deliver a vision. Tiverton house is a two storey new build in place of the client's existing carport to the rear of the main house. A tight site with height restrictions pushed the design into the ground, and the locality next to a railway meant that sound was also an issue. However, despite this the end result is a beautiful piece of architectural design.

Key points of inspiration for the project were drawn from a piece by Joseph Turner studying light in an Italian church, and their recently completed renovation of Curzon Bloomsbury in the Brunswick Centre. The usage of natural lighting and brutalist materiality became two core principles in the design; in particular the use of concrete as a core material for both structure and finish with a focus on the tactility of the overall experience. In addition light and depth were created in spaces where neither is naturally abundant. These were achieved through careful consideration of spatial planning and the creation of light wells as well as keen attention to detail during the construction process.

Takero took us through a refreshingly honest view of the planning and construction process. Detailing the difficulties of building with concrete and various issues with the contractor, as well as strict planning rules and adjustments throughout the design process, we saw how T-SA sought to achieve the vision they wanted. All the while he conveyed to us the beauty in the design and construction process as the building emerged from its subterranean foundations into a fully realised form.

At the core of the practice’s work process is the attention to detail and unrelenting drive for quality. The thoroughness with which they conduct their approach to every scale of the building is evident in the quality of the finished product. Minor details and particular finishes are given great focus and review in order to achieve a refined end product.

Many thanks to Takero and Anton Gorlenko for the use of the professional photographs taken by Anton and site photos by the T-SA team.

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