Multiple Modernisms: Nature and Organic Architecture
The main theme of my architectural concept is the connection with nature. My minimalist approach aims to capture qualities of simplicity and emptiness that exemplify Japanese architecture such as works by Tadao Ando (1941-present). I aimed to create a peaceful place for people to live in and get closer to nature by using fair-faced in-situ concrete as the main material along with detailing like minimal wall finishes and concealed lighting as well as judicious use of natural light. The landscape design and layout are essential in promoting interaction with greenery and the river. Vegetable beds of the kitchen garden are designed in alternating strip forms corresponding to the pattern of the river surface. The structure of the building is also complementary to the orientation of the site and the terrain. The West and East facades are designed to align with the river. The East façade is mostly built in concrete with window slots to provide solar shading and create narrow light rays, while the Western side has glass walls with a cantilevered terrace overlooking the river. The layout, construction, and detailing respond to the specific characteristics and opportunities offered by the site and aim to complement them in the best possible way without compromising on functionality. Hence, this project embodies the principles of Organic architecture. The remainder of this essay shall delve deeper into themes of nature and the organic in architecture and explore how this found varied expressions throughout various phases of Modernism. It also uncovers how these ideas were informed by changes in society, culture, and technology.