Japanese building uses carbon “curtain” for earthquake protection

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has turned a three-storey office block into a museum to the work of fabric manufacturer Komatsu Seiren.

The design comes complete with a carbon-fibre curtain to prevent earthquake damage. The thermoplastic rods that reinforce the structure are "seven times stronger than iron", and Kuma’s firm said it was the first time that the material had been used for this purpose.

Before the carbon cloak was added, computers analysed where they should be positioned and how long they would be able to protect the building from seismic activity.

The practice said: "Drawing from a technique of braiding ropes in this region, it became possible to add further flexibility to the carbon fibre."

Gaps in the curtain lead to the building’s entrances, which are draped in flowing white fabric.

The lightning duct on the roof of the building is also made from carbon fibre, alongside porous Greenbiz panels that were generated during the fibre-making process.

The building, which is in Ishikawa Prefecture on the west coast of Honshu, also contains a showroom, workshops and a roof garden.

Kuma recently designed the Sydney Civic Centre in Australia.

Images by Takumi Ota, Shinkenchiku

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  1. Comment! Its not just earth quake secure its also very lightning strike secure!

  2. Will you tell the name and details of carbon fibres used for curtaining and any changes has been done in design of structure

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