Today on architecture.MNP we bring you the Minami-Nagano Dental Clinic & Residence by Japanese architect Hiroki Tanabe. A 274 square meter home + office combo for a dentist, the building is located in a suburb of Nagano, Japan -’in a beautiful farm village surrounded by rice fields and peach orchards’.
In this area of Japan the building code does not allow for the construction of any more free-standing residential projects – new housing must be combined [structurally] with ‘public’ functions. To achieve this, Tanabe created a folding ‘zig-zag’ roof-wall-floor plane out of 300mm thick reinforced concrete, which both combines the two functions of the building [home and dentist's office] structurally, while separates them volumetrically.
The three volumes he forms through this folding are a waiting area, the dentist’s office, and the dentist’s living space – each separated by a glass box that acts as a transitional zone between the various functions. This box gives occupants the impression of moving outside of the building [complete with glass ceiling] when moving between the different areas – further distinguishing between the different building uses.
The interior of the building is a classic example of modern Japanese design. Clean, simple, and elegant shapes and lines – all white urethane resin paint – define the interior spaces, which was designed column free in order to leave the building flexible for different interior arrangements in the present or even different programs in the future.
And, oh yeah – it apparently glows yellow at night, because it’s ill like that…