The Arrival of the RF

I met Graham again for the purpose of writing this book in October 2006. I visited him in his newly completed RF house in Findhorn Bay. I found that he had changed, as we all do, yet the strength of his passion for the RF had not altered. He was as enthusiastic as when I had first met him in 1995. I asked Graham to tell me how he came up with the idea for the RF structure. He started his story by telling me that at the time he came up with the idea, he was working as an acupuncturist. He had...

The Stonemason Museum by Yasufumi Kijima

During my reciprocal frame study trip of Japan, I was fortunate to visit the Toyoson Stonemason Museum by Yasufumi Kijima, designed in 1993. The roof structures of the two big, circular in plan, main volumes of the Museum are formed by using multiple reciprocal frame structures. As soon as one enters the exhibition hall of the building, these complex timber structures draw the attention of the visitor with the intricate way they hold up the roof. 9.1 The complex round-wood structure. (Photo...

Kan

Traditional Korean Woodworking

The reciprocal frame as an ecological structure On Saturday 25 November 2006, I met Yoichi Kan at the railway station in Nagasaki, situated on Kyushu, the most westerly of Japan's main islands. He was accompanied by Mrs Keiko Miyahara,the wife of his close friend and colleague Mr Miyahara, who is a Professor of Architecture at Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science. Mrs Miyahara has a degree in English and her role was to aid in the communication between Yoichi Kan and myself. Kan speaks...

Background the

Vinci Grid Method Construction

So who made the first reciprocal frame Where did the idea come from It would be difficult to find out when and where the first reciprocal frame RF was constructed to do so would be like trying to establish when and where the first high-heeled shoe was produced, or when the first green wooden toy car was made. Perhaps these two would be easier to establish than the whereabouts of the first RF structures. There are two main reasons for this the first is that very few people describe these...

The Initial Meeting

I feel excited and nervous, standing in front of a cake shop at Akasaka tube station in central Tokyo. It is nearly noon on Tuesday 21 November 2006 and I am due to meet Kazuhiro Ishii,the architect who has designed the greatest variety of reciprocal frame RF buildings and, in my view, the most beautiful ones. Ishii arrives spot on time and I recognize him easily, as I have seen photos in the numerous publications about his work. He suggests that we have lunch together and on the way to the caf...

Introduction

The title of this book, Reciprocal Frame Architecture, asserts that this is a book about architecture, but why 'reciprocal frame' architecture What are 'reciprocal frames' The term means hardly anything, even to people who are in the field, like architects and engineers unless they are already familiar with it for one reason or another . To ordinary people the name 'reciprocal frame' certainly does not mean much. This is perhaps one of the reasons for writing this book - to make reciprocal...

The Spinning House Enomoto Residence in Tokyo

The 'Spinning' house was designed in 1985 by Ishii for the Enomoto family. It is situated in the Tamagawa Gauken residential district in Tokyo. It is a steel-framed house with spiralling steel Vierendeel trusses, externally clad with exposed prefabricated concrete panels. The house is located on a small hill in a tight urban site. It is organized over three levels, with bedrooms radially arranged on the ground floor around a central hall. The living room area is on the second floor and there is...

Bunraku Puppet Theatre

Ishii Roof

The Burnaku Puppet Theatre designed by Kazuhiro Ishii is set in the town of Seiwa in Kumamoto Prefecture, southern Japan. It is set in the landscape surrounded by dramatic high hills which form a backdrop and a natural border to the site. It is a complex of four distinct buildings, each distinct but brought together through the use of a common architectural language. All the buildings use timber for their structure and all of them except the newly built restaurant use some form of RF structure....

Construction of the reciprocal frame

The erection of the roof structure was carried out using a so-called Charlie stick, which is a temporary, central post used to support the roof rafters until all the main rafters are in place when the Charlie stick can be removed. 11.5 The finished skeleton. Photo Tony Wrench. 11.5 The finished skeleton. Photo Tony Wrench. All the columns were positioned in holes, hand dug in the ground. The construction of the building took only 4 months. The total building costs were 3000, spent mainly on...