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July 21, 2009

Shelter competition: Ginkgo Nest

On the occasion of the exhibitions Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward and Learning By Doing, the Guggenheim Museum New York and Google SketchUp invite amateur and professional designers from around the world to enter Design It: Shelter Competition.
- Design It: Shelter Competition opens up the project to you. If you could build a shelter anywhere in the world, where would it be? How would you design it to respond to the surrounding environment? -
From now until August 23, you can submit a 3-D shelter for any location in the world using Google SketchUp and Google Earth.


Designed by Andrew Stein
From: San Miguel, Argentina
Shelter location: Japan

The GINKGO NEST came about from three sources of inspiration.

The first was the beautiful GINKGO TREE. Its beautiful leaf shape and yellow color is often depicted in Art around the world. Originally found in China and often planted in Korea and Japan.
The second being the OCTAGRAM form. The octagram has significance in many cultures. In ancient Japanese warfare it is the symbol for Stronghold/ Castle (a fortified structure).
Third is the 12th century GUSUKU ramparts (now ruins and considered a UNESCO heritage site) in Okinawa, Japan. Made from blocks of local limestone.
Japan has variable climate and unpredictable showers. Being flexible to the weather is a factor in the design. Two button up screen walls allow lovely breezes in. However button up canvas walls can be used if the weather is rainy, windy or cold. The structure is isolated and excellent for escape and contemplation. Because of earthquakes cast in place reinforced concrete is used. Textured with local limestone and coral aggregate being sandblasted and exposed to create a sense of warmth. The window panes are textured glass to mimic the textured concrete. However large untextured windows invite great views. Local limestone and coral aggregate is used to emulate the Gusuku. Subtle images of the Ginkgo are used throughout to tie it all together .The structure grows up off the brow of the hillside. A cozy bowtie plan creates two areas. One area considered a Study area with a curved reading bench and book case beneath. The other area for Rest with a comfortable bed.
The name GINKGO NEST comes from the idea that two Ginkgo trees are embracing the structure (and vice versa) as any tree would cradle a nest.
The GINKGO NEST would be situated overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the city of Kumamoto, Japan. The Ginkgo tree is the official tree of the city of Kumamoto and the symbol of the University of Tokyo.


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