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‘When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves' as written by Orr (n.d.)
Environmental damage to our planet has increased. One of the issues that need to betaken into consideration is the climate change caused by global warming. The climatechange of our planet will cause the increase of earth temperature that leads to fataldestruction such as melting of ice cube in North Pole and sinking of island zone as theocean zone in getting bigger and bigger.As the earth is facing a lot of destructions, there is a need for us to keep our environmentand our earth safe. One of the ways to help our earth is by preserving natural elements,such as vegetation and greenery.
2. Ireko Concept to preserve green
2.1. The beginning of Ireko concept
Ireko is a Japanese word with the literal meaning of nest. Ireko concept in traditionalJapanese architecture is a term used of having interlocking spaces or more oftenrecognized as shell space concept. The concept was firstly introduced at Meiji periodbetween the years of 1868 - 1912.
Sander (1963, pp.24) states that ‘the Japanese love of nature made them disinclined
to shut themselves up in a kind of big storehouse even though the winds might blow'
This is the main cause of Ireko concept arrival. Japanese people are very concerned aboutliving close to nature. Japanese architecture is always planned in such a way that it givesthe impression of being planned form inside outwards, that one must not look at it from theoutside. Everything is already inside as a whole component.There are two basic ideas of this concept. The first is to have purely interlocking spaces,which allowed people to have experienced another spaces inside the main area. Thesecond idea of Ireko is to have not only interior space and exterior space, but having spatialflow inside the interior itself, from outdoor space, through semi-outdoor space, semi-indoorspace, and indoor space as well.The semi indoor and outdoor spaces may become the interlocking area also, where theseareas are placed in the junction where interior and exterior meets. Verandah and balconiesare classified into semi indoor and outdoor. They are the connector between interior andexterior spaces. It is creating the heterogeneous environment the spaces will be used inflexible ways.In this particular writing, outdoor area that provides natural element, in this case isvegetation and plants, as the interlocking space is the main focus point.2
2.2 Ireko with green preservation
2.2.1 Photosynthesis Process
Green preservation is a way to have more vegetations and plants in an area that lacks ofthem. This is commonly seen in a city whereby there is only a minimum area of greeneries.As the application of Ireko in this topic is to achieve natural element as the interlocking orsemi indoor space, vegetation and greeneries are the chosen natural element to befocused on as the reaction of defeating global warming. This is according to the benefits ofgreenery from the photosynthesis process.The photosynthesis process begins with the absorption of water and decompose deadorganism from soil with the root. These two ingredients will then be transferred to theleaves where the process takes place. Using the carbon dioxide and sunrise from the air,the water decompose organism will be changed into food and oxygen. The food istransmitted to the whole parts of the tree where the oxygen will be released to the air.At night, there is a respiration process as plants will absorb oxygen and release CO2, asthe contradiction of the photosynthesis process. As it is the cycle process, at night duringthe respiration process, oxygen is taken from the air and carbon dioxide will be released tothe atmosphere. Therefore there is the need to not getting close with the plants at night.
2.2.2 Advantages of having greeneries
From the photosynthesis cycle, it is mentioned that plants will absorb carbon dioxide andreplace it with oxygen at day time. This is very beneficial and crucial to reduce heat in theatmosphere. Carbon dioxide absorption will help to release the heat from atmosphere. Theinfrared of sunray is trapped inside our atmosphere is due to the amount of carbon dioxidethat covers the air. They will surround the heat and keeping it inside, not allowing it torelease from the earth. Meanwhile, the oxygen that is released to open air will allow peopleto have clean and fresh air.3The other advantage of having plants and greeneries is that by having more outdoor areasinside, the use of air conditioner will be reduced also. This will reduce the urban heatingprocess also as air conditioning system will also release carbon dioxide to atmosphere.As the respiration process of the plant will be the opposite process, there is no issue thatthis will be harmful to the earth. There is no sunray at night, which means there is no heatthat can be trapped by carbon dioxide released from the plants.
2.3 Application of Ireko in Architecture
2.3.1 Traditional Architecture
Noh Theater Mijayima - Meiji Period Noh Theater Nagoya - NowadaysNoh Theater is a major classical Japanese drama theater firstly performed in the 14thcentury during Meiji period. It is the classical drama of historical plays by wearing a maskthat the actor can act as both men and women.The pictures above show the development of the stage in early period with the comparisonof nowadays stage. Both of the stages are interlocking spaces, whereby at the past thestage is a semi outdoor / semi indoor space that becomes the connector from outdoorspace to the theater itself.The second picture is the newly built Noh Theater at Nagoya, Japan. It is not located atoutdoor area, but instead becoming an interior space, part of the theater itself. As thestructure of the stage with all the roofing and columns are be brought inside, people willexperience being in another space whereby actually it is still inside the theater.
2.3.2 Contemporary architecture
4House at 55 Blair Road SingaporeIn this pasticular house by Ong & Ong, the pool area is the interlocking space or the semiindoor space, whereby it is the connector of kitchen and living area. The natural element,which is the tree and vegetation is used in the interlocking outdoor area.
2.4 The possibilities of city area to apply the concept of Ireko
In the urban area, usually the typical types of buildings are the skyscrapers where there is ashort of land in the city areas. It is typical that a city is lack of vegetation and greeneries.This is where the Ireko concept can be applied to the development of city areas to achievegreen preservation. The Ireko concept will be very useful in the urban area to achievegreen preservation. The possibilities of buildings area to apply this concept are mostlycommercial buildings such as shopping centre, schools, hotels, hospitals and many elses,where they can have outdoor space inside also. For examples, the use of indoor gardenand rooftop garden where the roof itself is made of vegetation. Private buildings are alsocapable of having green preservation, mainly in private housing establishments.
2.5 The advantages of Ireko concept
The effects given by using Ireko concept are divided into environmental effect and effect tothe people. For the environment, there are the advantages to energy saving (airconditioning minimalisation), as by having more outdoor spaces inside there is the reducein the needs of air condition. Moreover, there is the extension of environmental life of thebuildings, as to preserve green, there is the need to use recyclable material in order to nomore damaging the earth. This will help to extend the durability of the building.Nevertheless, there are also effects for the people in the environment. The first one is thehealth approach, whereby clean and fresh air will be good for people's health. The othereffect is to mental approach of people, whereby having green preservation will be a goodway to achieved sanctuary and meditative spaces that is lacking in the city. People mayfind calmness and for a moment get rid of their hectic life in this area of green.
2.5.1 Ireko concept to fight global warming
The most crucial benefit from having Ireko concept in the buildings, is that it is probably oneway to help reducing urban heat, whereby it will be the way to solve the problem of globalwarming that our planet is facing. This will hopefully avoid any more destruction to ourplanet and therefore lengthen the age of our earth.5
2.6 Applying Ireko concept in studio project (SPA)
2.6.1 Application of Ireko to the design
The concept for this project of designing a dayspa is Chakra, which is the relaxationand energy points in a body that will bring balance to a person's general health andbody. The application of Ireko to have nature inside the spa is very beneficial andcrucial to the concept of chakra. People in the city will definitely seek for escaping theirhectic life while going to a spa. Whereby by getting a treatment in the nature itself, it willbring balance to their soul that is overwhelmed by their works. Balancing the customersin physical and mental is the basic design concept of this spa from the concept ofChakra.The Ireko concept is also being applied in the studio project by having outdoor spacesinside the interior space as the interlocking spaces. The flow of spaces will be fromoutdoor space at the outside to indoor spaces to intermediate space, continue tooutdoor space again then indoor space. The intermediate spaces will be the terraceand verandah where the treatments are served. Customer will have chances to enjoymassage treatments in the verandah overlooking the greenery outside. The use ofoutdoor space inside is by having indoor garden as the interlocking spacer as well asthe green preservation inside the building. As the project is to design a spa, there is aneed for the costumer to have their treatment in the place that is closed to nature,whereby they seek for escape from their daily hectic life in a city.6
Gandhi (n.d.) has stated ‘there is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for
In conclusion, using Ireko concept in the contemporary buildings of urban areas will help to achieve green preservation in the city. By focusing on the concept of Ireko to treat vegetation and greenery as the interlocking space inside, achieving green preservation in a city is a possible attempt that can be done by a lot of people and institutions as well as commercial places.By successfully preserving green, there is the possibility and chances for us to help ourown world, to save the earth from global damage and destruction. It is the time for us to payattention for our own world, not to keep taking more and more and at the end leaving itdying.