Baxter Smith

Baxter Smith

Berkeley, CA, US

Nest We Grow
Nest We Grow

Nest We Grow

In response to an international design-build competition, our team proposed a quintessentially Californian approach embracing many ideas still new to Asia, from where most of us hail. These Californian ideas formed into Nest we Grow, which grew from a shared interest in the materials that make up our build environment with a focus on renewable materials. Nest We Grow won the 4th Annual LIXIL International design-build competition in 2014, and unlike structures built in the first years of the competition, it is an open, public structure. Its main intent is to bring people in the community together to store, prepare and enjoy local foods in the setting of Hokkaido, Japan.

Our team of graduate students, comprised of two Taiwanese, two Chinese, and one American, sought to examine what structural and material elements we could combine to create this community and food oriented space. We recognized how modest materials and actions are celebrated in Berkeley and wanted to explore their implications in Asia. Our initial research started with techniques we find readily in California, including rammed-earth walls and straw bale construction. We presented these ideas in pursuit of a building that would introduce renewable building techniques to an area of Japan that could take advantage of these concepts. What we found was an appreciation for the difficulty of applying transnational technology in a new environment.

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Status: Built
Location: Taiki, JP
My Role: Draftsperson and material specialist
Additional Credits: Team Members: Hsiu Wei Chang, Hsin-Yu Chen, Fanzheng Dong, Yan Xin Huang, Max Edwards
Project supervisor: Kengo Kuma & Associates, Takumi Saikawa
Structural engineer: Masato Araya
Mechanical engineer: Tomonari Yashiro Laboratory at the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo / Bumpei Magori, Yu Morishita
Contractor: Takahashi Construction Company