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Blog Task 8 – Tama Art University Library

Lead author: Yang Song

The building I chose was the tama art university library by Toyo Ito. It was located in the outskirt of Tokyo. For this project, the architect wanted the library and the outside garden together to be a new place where students and all people from the university could share a same big bright open space.




The building appeared to be “the building with the arches” when I first saw it in picture. But I notice that the bottom of the archways were very thin so the space seemed really bright open and fluid. So the first element I collected was the archways. The architect explained the reason why he was using the arches and said this shape could bear a lot forces and yet make the place look bigger, brighter and this was the main aim he was trying to achieve.



The shape of an arch can make the gravity force act at a single point (except the top point and the bottom two points) transform into two forces in different directions. One is the force acting down the shape the other is a force act 90 degree to the previous force. So for this transforming of the force, the archways could bear huge amount of force without falling or cracking yet still create an open light structure.

The materials used in the archways were steel plates covered in concrete. Steel plates in the centre bear the loading force from up, and the outside concrete make it look nice and also reinforce the steel plates, prevent them from cracking and reduce the temperature of them.


The second element I chose was the big window created by the arch shape of the main structure. Because the sizes of the archways are different, ranging from 1.8m to 16m in width, so each big window varies from the size as well. Also for the special shape of the arches which created those windows, one big window is composed of several parts of window in different shapes. According to my research, the big windows were divided by steel mullions and aluminium sashes.



The window and the wall are joined together by rigid joints.


The third element is the cross-shaped slab located inside the floor. This acts as the intersection of the archways and the floor and is a rigid connection of the two and it secures the archways.




1. http://library.tamabi.ac.jp/hachioji/feature/structure/
2. http://www.architravel.com/architravel/building/tama-art-university-library-hachioji-campus
3. http://www.archiexpo.com/prod/kawneer/mullion-and-transom-curtain-walls-aluminium-and-glass-52158-403587.html
4. http://www.forgemind.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=11751


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