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Maethavee Padungsakdisin


Earthquakes has been one of the biggest architectural challenges, especially in Japan, where the land quivers on a daily basis. Many new architectural techniques has been invented in attempt to withstand the nature’s wrath. However, many may not know that an effective anti-quake technique has long been invented through our ancestor’s wisdom. Despite how ancient techniques are often seen as the past’s antique and disconnected from our modern world, the Japanese Pagoda stood strong up to this day proofing the ancestors’ timeless craft. The ‘outdated’ pagoda withstood large earthquakes for over 2000 years while many of our modern buildings fail to do so. The heir’ sees potential in the overlooked technique. The ‘Shinbashira’ that is located within the immovable Japanese pagodas. The technique revolves around a main column that is static while floors are structurally separated from the column, allowing each floor to slide in different directions, countering each other’s forces. The project also looked in Tokyo sky tree where oil damper is used as a connector between the floors, the technique is said to reduce vibration by 50%.

The project wishes to preserve the ancient architecture’s beauty and wisdom through evolution and lasting techniques. Standing between the 2 landmarks of Asakusa, the Pagoda and Tokyo Sky tree, the project aims to become a cultural center for guests (tourists) and residents (locals) to understand more about the ancient’s craft and beauty and endless potential that slumbers within vernacular architecture. Reminding our society that our current ‘modern’ world is made possible through the evolution of ancient wisdom. That the past and present should not be seen as separated worlds. The passed down heirloom’s potential shall not be overlooked and seen as outdated and thus the project, the Heir.


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