Friday, April 1, 2011

Japanese Joinery

By Dustin Stoll

In professor Davey’s Non-Western Architectural History course this semester, we were each assigned to create a structural model that represents some sort of non-western architectural technique or design. This model could encompass the design of an entire building, or simply just the design of an individual wall or detail of a structure.

For my model, I chose to create a piece of Japanese joinery. After much research, I discovered that some of the joints created by the Japanese master craftsmen, were quite complex. Without the natural resources to create masonry structures, the Japanese had to make use of the abundant supply of native trees they had for construction. Japan’s good timber eventually became scarce, thus causing builders to have to resort to using far less superior wood that had been passed over by earlier carpenters. Lower quality wood is much harder to create structure that is true and plum. This resulted in the need to join pieces of wood together to create timbers that would have normally been formed by one higher quality tree, instead of several lower quality trees.

I chose to create a Mortised Rabbeted Oblique Splice Joint. This type of joint was used to splice together ground sills, girders, and beams. Below are some images of the model that I created, along with a computer generated animation that illustrates how the joint works.

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