29 March 2011

Good day for site measurement

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Today we went to take site measurements at Blue Eye Dragon, a Taiwanese restaurant at Pyrmont.
...I was a little concerned about the weather, as we would be measuring the outdoor courtyard... viola, what a beautiful day it turns out!
After measurement we were invited to join the staff members for lunch...such a treat...lucky us!




28 March 2011

Span of time

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It seems like yesterday that we were still struggling with the concept design and brief clarification with the client for M House.... This must be how it feels like for the bride's father at the wedding... well, not quite, but close enough.

Bookshelf in M House is reaching completion, together with flooring and bedroom enclosure. Suddenly we can visualise the finish line of the project which has gone through a 2 year design phase.
Truth is, despite the natural disaster and subsequent nuclear threat in Japan recently, the construction is on schedule, and looking at finishing off in end of April - in one month time!

structure of the mezzanine floor a.k.a. bedroom ceiling

looking down from the study room, which is half level higher, down towards the living/ dining space

from inside the guest room through to the study room

slowly the bookshelf is filling in.....

junction at the bookshelf and bedroom ceiling 

gap in the floor to allow for heated air by underfloor heating to come through and heat up the house

with the multitude vertical supports in the bookshelf to hold up the mezzanine, the structure appears to be much more delicate and refined.

the gap at bottom of the bookshelf is also for underfloor heating

plywood flooring for the mezzanine over the floor structure

bookshelf becomes balustrade for the mezzanine
looking up the plywood from inside the bedrooms (below the mezzanine).  The plywood floor serves as the ceiling for the bedrooms

...... now the builders on site need to take their shoes off to enter the construction site, like entering into someone's house!! 

22 March 2011

From shell to house..

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Welcome to Facet Studio's new blog site!  We have now moved everything from our previous Wordpress site, and will move older contents from the even earlier FC2 (Japanese) site so everything will be consolidated.  

It was terrible news about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan....our construction site located at Niigata (north of Tokyo, on the west side of the island facing Japan Sea) experienced a 6 degree shakedown, fortunately all workers on site were uninjured, and building fabric intact. 
We called the construction site thinking that there will be at least a day off for people to recover from the shock of earthquake.....well.....everyone was on site working as usual......

Here are some site photos from March 11 before the earthquake... M House is now slowly transforming from a building shell into a house with spatial definition.  We are very excited about the bookshelf construction - it is the structural element which in fact holds up the mezzanine level floor, hence defines the sleeping quarter within the otherwise open house.  

Internal perspective presented to client - the bookshelf is in the centre, running the entire length of the house.  It supports the mezzanine floor to the right, which also serves as the ceiling for the sleeping rooms below

Starting from building the main beam.  Again all hand notched for precise connection...

Main beam in the middle of the space...

Secondary beam between the rooms; it spans between the main beam and the perimeter wall.

The vertical elements of the bookshelf actually hold up the main beam as structural support

knocking the beam junction into place

where the main beam joins....

inside the sleep quarter.  Floor to the mezzanine above will for the ceiling.

11 March 2011

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards UK - Water Moon shortlisted

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Our project Water Moon Japanese Restaurant is shortlisted in Restaurant & Bar Design Awards UK - International Lighting Design category.

Shortlist was announced today, and winner will be announced in July 2011....feels so far away...I want to know now!

You can view the shortlist HERE

View our entry HERE

More about the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards HERE

10 March 2011

walk about

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Our builder has taken a walk around about M House.

It has been weeks since the building envelope is up, including walls and roof...heaters have been on inside... not just for the workers' comfort in the snowy cold weather!

The heaters were on because the building needs to be warm - concrete has high moisture content when first poured, over time the water slowly evaporates.  At first a process called "curing" will take place to ensure that moisture does not evaporate prematurely to reduce the strength of concrete, then a process called "drying" will slowly stabilise the moisture content, and eventually reach equilibrium with external environment.  Because it was unusually cold during this process for M House, heaters were used on site to help control the environment in which the concrete is drying.

So.....Our builder can now walk around the house, after weeks, with a concrete moisture meter to measure the concrete moisture content, and determine if it is dry enough to apply finish to internal walls.

meter readings all around the house

More readings on concrete:


Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia


The answer to the previous quiz....

enclosure in under floor space
The concrete block enclosure in the underfloor space has few purposes:

1. structural support to the space above - in this case the block work is supporting the bathroom above.

2. creates an enclosure to contain water leakage in case of pipework failure - especially here the underfloor space is used for heating.

3. this enclosure will be filled and packed in with sand, to create bedding for the localised concrete slab underneath the bathroom - this is happening in 2-3 weeks time, I will post the photos when it happens!

Did you guess it right?

8 March 2011

Snow catcher catching snow

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Further from our previous quiz (read HERE), here is a follow up from our builder on site.... who is also a reader of the blog, thinking that he should send this photo through to demonstrate how the snow catcher works in the snow!

snow catcher in action on M House

4 March 2011

Have a guess!

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Moving along...moving along..... M House is taking shape quickly, even in challenging weather conditions.

view from the neighbouring community farm. the top triangle in timber will be installed with glass once construction has progressed further (just see how the vegetables in the community farm are struggling in the snow....)

copper pipes connecting under floor radiators are being installed...

almost done with copper pipes. I can just imagine these radiators sitting quietly below the floor once completed, doing their job in the dark...... but anyway, hot water runs in the copper pipes and the heat is radiated by the radiators, heating up the under floor space, which then emits the heat into the entire house evenly

coming out of under floor space and looking to the glazing between rafters. we have originally specified single fixed glazing for ease of construction but the builders upgraded to double glazing units (DGU) for better insulation....woohoo~! problem is, DGUs come completely sealed, with a rather prominent black rim of silicon all the way around in proportion to the glazing size, which disturbed the visual continuity of the rafters from inside to outside..... we had to decide on site to build an extra small timber frame to cover up the black silicon (test piece in the centre)...which works ok because the timber frame is camouflaged by all the timber planes around so is not so noticeable.

So here is the question today..............

What is this concrete block enclosure doing in the under floor space?

Have a guess!!

3 March 2011

how about this for a site?

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We have a nice little project on the way.......

view from the site

Not bad hey!

I will tell you a bit more, later.