Experience the Dance of Light and Nature with Ripple

Architect Takatoku Nishi's Award-Winning Design Brings Nature's Beauty Indoors

In a world where the beauty of nature often goes unnoticed, architect Takatoku Nishi has crafted a unique space that captures the dance of light and wind. His design, Ripple, is an architectural marvel that brings the outdoors in, creating a serene, ever-changing environment that shifts with the sun and wind.

Using optical phenomena to construct a 'space of light', Nishi was inspired by the architecture of Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, particularly the atmospheric Bruder-Klaus-Kapelle. Ripple's unique properties lie in its ability to capture and manipulate natural light. On sunny days, when the wind blows, light is guided into the space through pipes in the ceiling, creating a phenomenon of light that resembles drops falling onto the surface of water.

The design realization of Ripple is a testament to Nishi's innovative approach to architecture. The system was designed to match the natural light to a tilt angle of 31.6 degrees, the average solar angle at the winter solstice. The prism rotates at an average wind speed of 1.5 m/s for the location. The walls are louvered, with a 1.5 cm gap in one direction, keeping the space illumination at a dim 30lx, similar to a tea room. The main materials used are acrylic pipes, prisms, wood, and floor plaster.

Ripple's interaction with its environment is what truly sets it apart. The daily combination of sun and wind changes the phenomenon and influences it within the space. It makes people aware of the beauty of their immediate natural environment, of which they are usually unaware. The design is a reminder of the often overlooked beauty of nature, and a testament to the power of architecture as a medium to bridge the gap between the natural environment and the human interface.

The design was produced for the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music's Doctoral Thesis Exhibition in December 2020 and has been exhibited in Japan in 2021 and 2022. The project faced several challenges, including realizing the phenomenon in architectural size and finding a way to make the prism rotate in the wind. However, Nishi's dedication and innovative approach led to the successful realization of Ripple.

Ripple has been recognized for its innovative design and has been awarded the Silver A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award in 2023. The award is given to top-of-the-line, creative, and professionally remarkable designs that illustrate outstanding expertise and innovation. Ripple is a testament to Nishi's innovative approach to architecture and his ability to create spaces that connect people with the beauty of the natural world.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Takatoku Nishi
Image Credits: Takatoku Nishi
Project Team Members: Takatoku Nishi
Project Name: Ripple
Project Client: Takatoku Nishi

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