5.40-japan-9-detail-b Highlights Relevant to Sustainable Design:

There are multiple opportunities to rethink natural light and materials.

The domed interior of a contemporary library allows light to enter through a diffused grid of steel rebar. The rebar is typically used as structural support inside of reinforced concrete. The exposed industrial rebar takes on a surprising light and elegant quality as it bends and curves along the contours of the ceiling. We can simply use materials in ways that they were not intended. The right side of this sketch shows a small drawing of a large rock. The rock is suspended off the ground and must weigh several tons. The thin steel cables holding it up are visible more clearly in the drawing than in reality, because water sprays out of the walls to mask the cables and give the appearance that the massive rock is floating in air. Sculpture built into architecture elevates the senses to create more dynamic experiences.

This ties into the point in Japan 8: Detail (a). Sustainability is about embracing our connection to the natural world, and the rock in its natural uncut form is a powerful reminder of the source of many construction building blocks.

Author and illustrator: Charlie Szoradi is an architect, inventor, and the CEO of Independence LED Lighting. He writes about many other topics related to the connection of architecture to the natural world through his extensive travels around the world.

If you have found this posting online, it is an excerpt from Mr. Szoradi’s book Learn from Looking that served as the inspiring seed content for this drawing share resource. For additional drawings and insights on integration with natural world, we hope that you enjoy exploring LearnfromLooking.com. You can search via general terms such as sustainability as well as narrower terms such as natural world and natural light.